Last August, Michael reviewed Ocean Charter of Values’ release no one who was good is good anymore and called it “a musical wellspring of sadness.” In contrast, I don’t hear a sadness present on Nicholas Laugher’s (Ocean Charter of Values) new record Hack the Planet; or perhaps I don’t want to. I hear someone who needed to leave home but has returned feeling more settled.
Hack the Planet is curious and ruminative. There are long stretches of sounds that rise and fall as waves do (“desert ruby / perl”) and other sounds that absorb the sun’s strength (“open window on cunard street”). The spoken word poetry of “pleas / desert ruby reprise” and “cupid’s era / letter to anna in anton chekhov’s play “ivanov,”” both performed by Cedric Noel, Indigo Rain Poirier, Charles Harding, and Erin Muir and recorded at the 2017 Flourish Festival, moved me the most. In particular, how “please,” hangs in the air for an eternity in the former track.
On the timeline of making Hack the Planet, Laugher explains:
A lot of it came together when I was living in the Netherlands for 6 months, without a guitar, so I was doing a lot of electronic music and found sound work. Then, after getting back, I put together an event for the Flourish Festival in Fredericton called Liminal Space, which was a show featuring improvised drone poetry. Thirdly, I approached my best friend and longtime collaborator AP Bergeron (Saxsyndrum, Year of Glad) to collaborate on some weirder electronic things, and the result is this new record.
Listen to Hack the Planet below: