H+ dropped Hidden Dimensions, his latest album, on February 16. The title of the album refers to string or M theory, which theorizes that matter is composed of strings vibrating in multiple dimensions, discernible only at Planck levels. These hidden dimensions, in turn, might lead to new perspectives on reality. And although this sounds like super-duper brainiac stuff, H+’s ultimate goal is music listeners’ enjoyment.
EDM Fused With Hip-Hop and Glitch
H+ is the music project of Malcolm Brian Swan, who resides in Bermuda. He holds a master’s degree in Music Composition. His sound merges IDM, aka braindance, glitch hop, dub, funk, reggae, and deep dubstep into a unique almost dissonant style of music. Essentially, IDM glitch is EDM fused with funky hip-hop and glitch effects.
Hidden Dimensions comprises 10 tracks. “Every Time” combines layered rippling synths and industrial flavors riding on a funky electronic groove. Soft vocalizations shimmer in the background, as the music alters sonic textures, going from oozing shimmers to mechanical crunching. “Patterns” features a jazz-flavored foundation infused with industrial hip-hop hues and restrained vocals.
“Anomalies” emanates dark, drifting and almost eerie textures of color, while “Planck Dimensions” offers glitch cuts, pauses, hushed riffs, and droning effects. My favorite tune on the album is “Error in the Standard Model,” probably due to its cool jazz feel. I also enjoyed the Tinker Bell-like flow of “Idiots,” which features a hint of reggae vocalizations and washboard-like percussion backed by tip-toeing synths.
Hidden Dimensions is cryptic and minimalist, exuding ranks of unique, pensive sounds, along with beau coup audio exploitation and experimental rhythmic aspects. H+ eschews reliance on blow-your-mind musical innovations to maintain the listener’s attention. Instead, he creates potent musical environments that challenge the listener’s preconceived notions of melody and harmony.
Hidden Dimensions defines the analogous aesthetic doctrine that says the tighter the discipline of an art form, the more subjective the criteria of taste. In other words, if you’re into experimental, state-of-the-art sonic manipulation, then you will enjoy this album. I will say this: It’s worth at least one listen, just to expand your musical horizons.