Windy Weber, “I Hate People”

Windy Weber (of Windy & Carl) tried to release her latest recording on Kranky before releasing it through Blue Flea and Kenedik, but the folks over at Kranky rejected it because it sounded like the sort of thing Nurse with Wound fans would enjoy. This is a crushing and feverish record miles away from Weber’s previous work. With Warren Defever helping out, I Hate People sounds absolutely hostile and is one of the darkest things released this year.

Two long and murky songs compose all of I Hate People. True to Weber’s musical approach as one half of Windy & Carl, both are composed of protracted and reverberating sounds pulled from guitars, organs, and vocal performances. This time around, however, the gleam of Weber’s technique is swathed in tenebrous distress and trembling disgust. Everything pretty about the music is suffocated under shuddering strings, half-whispered vocals, and screeching feedback. According to the liner notes, I Hate People is an isolationist opus, a recording about an island devoid of all the fear, hatred, disappointment, betrayal, and suffering caused by people, but it sounds more like a destructive purging of every black emotion on the books.

At various moments, “Sirens” does sound like the documented travels of some nameless individual slowly sailing to a location not found on any map. Still waters course slowly by as a voyager scans the horizon in a storm of screeching guitars and icy half-melodies. Furious solos blaze away beneath a layer of high-pitched tones as the song slowly dissolves and loses its intensity in favor of a slightly more meditative attitude. After 24 minutes Weber sounds as though she is gradually losing whatever ghost was haunting her when the song began. Cool, twilight sounds and a lovely organ drone end the song on an up note; the sirens of the title disappear completely and for just a second I thought that the next song might be a blissful and soothing reward at the end of jarring and tense ride.

“Destroyed” is just the opposite. It begins with a perverted ohm and is immediately supplemented by an uneven breathing. Whatever island Weber has found herself on, it is not one that brings any repose or relief. Over the course of 32 minutes it grows increasingly ominous and twisted. A sinister chant becomes the hub of the song as it weaves itself into a dry and chilling drone. About half way through the song a drill-like effect is pulled from Weber’s guitars and the song turns into a nightmare of echoing chains. Miles away from the influence of other individuals, Weber still finds herself entangled in a host of bad memories and contempt. A low hum ends the song with only a hint of activity warbling away beneath it. If this end signifies the tranquility suggested in the liner notes, then it comes at no little price. I Hate People tears its way through the air and leaves a burnt, uneasy calm in its wake.

I Hate People is available through Blue Flea Records
Sound samples are available at Brainwashed.com

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