Valerie Martino's Unicorn Hard-On project has been a long running staple in the American underground since it's inception in 2003. Through her own Tangled Hares imprint, as well as many others, she's built a strong, constantly evolving catalog of singular works that serves to many as a prototype of the current beat-oriented phenomena currently sweeping the nation. Martino's vision, however, remains unphased and flourishes accordingly to her own unique vision; standing outside of any trends and remaining loyal to the Unicorn Hard-On sound. Despite having been constantly touring, releasing music, booking shows and occupying various cities throughout the U.S. over the last 10 years, there has been no full length Unicorn Hard-On LP until now.
"Weird Universe" delivers on all fronts, encompassing all styles of the projects past and present to create a cohesive and definitive debut album. The album pounds with Martino's signature drum thud and percussive clatter, filing in the crevices with her signature electronic static and keen melodic phrasing. The album's opening track, "Rock Salt", kicks in the door and unwinds itself into spiraling mania of ramping bass tones with only a steady rhythm keeping it from going off the rails completely. Many of Unicorn Hard-On's classic elements remain intact, with a wide array of bizarre modulations and deeply layered subconscious structures. Versatility and evolution are exhibited in tracks like "Houndstooth" or "Wet Pet", which play out like an extraterrestrial Rachmad cut, or perhaps like a classic Psyche styled Craig track with hypnotic, time altering melodic patterns and impeccably calculated rhythm programming.
All comparisons aside, this record thrives in it's own "Weird Universe", making this a thrilling debut album 10 years in the works.