Dream Machine

by Unicorn Hard-On

supported by
Nic Brown
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Nic Brown Apparently the wonderfully-monikered Unicorn Hard-On have existed for 13 years but this is my first encounter with their oddly misshapen entanglements of acid, electro-tinged repetitiveness and tacked on fragments of noise. It shouldn't work but "Dream Machine" is an outer limits amalgam that's listenable precisely because it's so indisputably wonky. None of the tracks here change form much from stretches of loose at the seams clanking, apart from the occasional increase in stridency, but it's a fun and forthright listen that I'll happily be making again. I've got no inclination to ask which bit of the unicorn the name is referring to and Pegasus is welcome to keep the secret. A true one-off you should try at least once. Favorite track: Miss Maddox.
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Valerie Martino’s influence in the current underground music landscape cannot be overstated. As Unicorn Hard-On, she was one of the first of America's 21st-century noise artists to seriously mess around with beats, having carved out her own space in the scene since 2003. Over the last 13 years, Martino has toured the USA and Europe countless times and firmly established herself as an artist to pay close attention to. After a break from years of nonstop touring across and releasing beautiful, handmade tapes, Martino is closing the doors on Unicorn Hard-On with a final release for untergang-institut as she begins her next chapter.

“Dream Machine” is the followup to Martino’s last full-length release, “Weird Universe” (Spectrum Spools, 2013). It expands on the twisted, colorful world of previous releases with slowly unraveling acid tracks and psychedelic synth lines. As a final release for the Unicorn Hard-On project, “Dream Machine” is an essential and truly masterful record from an artist who knows exactly what she’s doing. In her own words, “I just want to make sounds that are beautiful and weird.”

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released July 17, 2016

All music by Valerie Martino.
Artwork by Cosmo Knex.
Released by untergang-institut, July 2016.


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Unicorn Hard-On Providence, Rhode Island

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