ABOUT THE ALBUM: hellothisisalex's first album. A DIY classic in a simple black & white sleeve on a CDr. BIO: hellothisisalex is Mark Prier and Melissa Creasey, two new-school analogue kids originally from smalltown Ontario, but now living in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Together, they write bizarre electro pop soundscapes infused with whimsy, non-linear narrative, and a love of pop music and experimental audio. In February 2001, they christened themselves 'hellothisisalex,' both a greeting and being (with both male and female reproductive organs, no less). Their music has been described as 'simple, yet effective, and without any pretension' by Electroage, and as 'fuzzy analogue tones and jaunty pop beats' by Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star. The music the duo write is primarily electronic, filled with raw analogue synths and otherworldly noises carried by melodic bass lines. Substancezine places their sound 'somewhere between Isan and minimalistic Air without the drug problem'. REVIEWS: 'Taking their cue heavily from the bedroom-producer phenomenon, Hellothisisalex has a serious knack for abstract beats and purposeful mistakes. And with this penchant comes a love of antiquated machinery of the analog sort. Nevertheless, The Anachim Thorn is a brilliant debut for these electronic pranksters, who are willing to stick the plug in the wrong socket even when it is labeled 'Danger.' Classic drum machine bloops confront DSP technology with aplomb, setting Mark Prier and Melissa Creasey apart from the pack of anonymous laptop producers. Perhaps their geography sets them apart as well, as one of them lives in Toronto and the other in the rural Ontario countryside. Though it is hard to extract from the record alone, the duo claims to take a David Lynch-like look at small-town Canada, bouncing off themes with fellow Ontarian Manitoba (aka Dan Snaith). For a pair of novices, they attack their material with a confidence only matched by Kid606. Their restless spirit leads them down many different, often cloudy paths and fortunately the results are magnificent. The production values are high and so is the attention to detail and melody. This is by no means a complacent piece of faceless techno, but rather a fierce attack on the ultra-plain state in which techno found itself in the late '90s.' - Ken Taylor, All Music Guide. 'The anachim thorn is an exercise in disturbing minimal noise with occasional swells of synthesized sound that startle and surprise. This album is a bit of a departure for me as reviewer because it's entirely instrumental, and I have long been known for my love affair with the human voice. Appreciating the subtleties of an instrumental album requires a perspective shift. The track listing indicates 11 distinct songs, but in reality, the whole plays like one long musical interlude that fades in and out. Changes in pitch and tempo signal the transitions from one song to another. Throbbing frequencies grow louder by imperceptible degrees until they're echoing in your head. Hellothisisalex, who are a duo consisting of Mark Prier and Melissa Creasey, are often referred to as David Lynchesque for the low key, yet insinuating uneasy quality of their music. This album won't grab your attention, but play it often enough, and you might just find it lurking in corners of your mind.' - Steph, Starvox 'Hellothisisalex is a Canadian duo made up of Mark Prier and Melissa Creasey from Ontario. The 11 track album 'The Anachim Thorn' is their second full-length release and follow-up to 'The Acorn Children.' Using subtle and child-like melodies (ala Boards Of Canada) and the complex quirkiness of bands like Thine Eyes, Hellothisisalex blends a fascinating mix of IDM, Pop and Electronica that has captivated my ears from start to finish. My favorite tracks on 'The Anachim Thorn' include 'Dinner At A Restaurant,' the warm analog sounds of 'Juliette' and 'Outside In The Cold The School Lights Burn Bright.' The latter sounding like a percussive jam session of jazzy drum loops and sparkling electronics. Hellothisisalex has a magnificent grasp on creating interesting and abstract melodies and drum loops that always keep you interested. I believe Hellothisisalex has released a follow-up to 'The Anachim Thorn' on Piehead Records but I've yet to hear it. Regardless, this is one band to watch for in the future. If you're looking for warm analog synths blended with deep IDM melodies and pop sensibility, look no further than Hellothisisalex.' - GunHed, Wetworks E-zine.
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