In an era where Glasgow is producing a stunning array of electronic music, HQFU's debut self titled album is a true standout. 2015's Dust & Dirt and Ca$hle$$ Lip$ were two of the year's best singles, a mixture of dark electronics and house influences that rightly brought HQFU to many people's attention and they set the standard for the whole album. Both feature here, along with 7 new tracks.
Dust & Dirt kicks the album off, leading into the superb All That She Wants, a track that fuses an acid bassline to increasingly frantic bleeps and beeps to brilliant effect, before Ca$hle$$ Lip$ arrives, still sounding as thrilling as ever. One of my two favourite tracks GTFOS is up next. Mainly instrumental, it has the distinct feel of Orbital at their peak, positively exploding from the speakers. At HQFU's recent album launch show, this was a highlight and it's the same here too.
Hardly slows things down a little, a comedown from GTFOS, before things heat up again with Sat Nite, the track here that owes the most to the 90's era rave tapes that first influenced HQFU's Sarah Stanley. The huge sounding Dreamer follows, all pummelling bass and frantic electronic squiggles, before we reach the album's other standout track, Good Reason. Like GTFOS, it is one of the tracks that's a highlight of the HQFU live show and, in its recorded form, it's just as good. It builds and builds, starting off quietly before adding layers of sound, ending up a mesmerising wall of sound with a chorus that you can't shake once you've heard it. Thrilling stuff.
LO rounds the album off nicely with echoes of LFO throughout and, once it ends, all you want to do is go back to the start and listen again. HQFU manages to capture the energy of HQFU's live show which is a plus but, even if you haven't caught the live show yet, this is an album you'll want to here. As debuts go, it really doesn't get much better than this.
HQFU by HQFU is available now through HQFU's own site and Bandcamp page digitally and on rather lovely limited edition vinyl. Keep an eye on the HQFU site and Facebook page for upcoming shows.
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