Listen to Fond Han’s Haunting “Mad Mike”

Jayson Greene

By Jayson Greene

on 05.08.14 in News

You can tell immediately the kind of recording conditions that Fond Han (aka Thomas Baumann of Neur) is working under in the first seven seconds of “Mad Mike”. They are “extremely poor.” Baumann sings and plays guitar solo, but he’s transformed into a quartet with support from bandmates Ever-present Clipping, Distortion, and Room Tone. There are some soft sounds in the back that could be palms slapping pant legs and hands clapping, but otherwise it is a profoundly isolated recording. The melody that wanders its way around this cavernous, linty mess is startlingly beautiful, Baumann’s guitar tracing a folded-backward chord progression that feels mapped onto White Album-era John Lennon, his voice dialing out from a cooing head voice into a flattening, big-lunged holler. The song is transfixing, like brushing the cobwebs from an old attic portrait to be confronted by a pair of burning eyes.