As part of their series for this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival, Foggy Notions present the Cork debut of HTRK, one of the most unique and intriguing Australian groups of the 21st century, plus special guest Mantua, a project of Cork native Elaine Malone.
Few groups in history, recent or otherwise, elevate mood to such singular, smoldering supremacy as the Australian duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang aka HTRK [‘Hate Rock’]. Across nearly two decades of work, wounds (co-founder Sean Stewart tragically took his own life in 2010), and world tours, their sound has shape-shifted between densities and intensities, noise and nakedness, but never wavered in its delicate poetic gravity. Theirs is a chemistry of smoke, echo, and the undertows of desire, the dislocation of cities and memory, the melancholy of distance and deepening night. It’s music of solitude and sensuality, for small hours and lost weekends, spoken in an intimate shadowplay language of skeletal electronics, velvet voice, and noir guitar.
HTRK’s albums have been released by an array of international labels including Fire (Nostalgia), Blast First Petite (Marry Me Tonight), Boomkat Editions (Over The Rainbow), and Ghostly International (Psychic 9-5 Club, Venus In Leo). For the occasion of their most recent full-length, the celebrated slowburn suite Rhinestones, they founded their own artist imprint, N&J Blueberries. In the live setting they transform spectral torch songs into quiet storms of tension, texture, and transcendence.
Mantua is an experimental music project from Elaine Malone (Hex, Soft Focus). Using harmonium, voice and effected guitars Malone explores environmental decline, keening, symbolism in the forms of Virgin Mary holograms and the decay of nature with other influences include the work of Jodorowsky, bogs and death. “By the closing credits ... you’ll be catching your breath, but ready for more...”, according to the Quietus.