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First Mark On A Blank Page: STAHV’s “The Test”


The discussion around changes in the music industry tends to focus on methods of delivery. Tape… to vinyl… to CDs… to MP3s… to streaming… and so on and so on. It’s no surprise that when talking about how technology has changed music, consumers would focus on how they consume first and foremost. However, the parallel changes in how music is made are equally important. While there has always been a culture of home recording (a tape recorder placed on top of a piano or in front of a guitar), the proliferation of inexpensive DAWs (“Digital Audio Workstations”) has had a significant impact on the sound of modern music.

From its name down, STAHV‘s “The Test” is a product of the era of DAW aesthetics. According to Solomon Arye Rosenschein, STAHV’s sole member (and former Invisible Oranges contributor), “The Test” was the first song written for the project’s upcoming self-titled record. It isn’t difficult to image Rosenschein opening an empty Logic or Protools session and labeling it “The Test” with no preconceived notions of what would come next. The song is the first drops of ink on a blank page, a way of proving to both the creator and the audience that the there’s a story worth telling here.

The ink in this case takes the form of a unhurried desert crawl. Guitars twang against a soft synth pad, both crackling with digital distortion. That harsh digital crunch has become something of a fetish object in music over the last few years, cropping up as an element in mainstream pop songs and used as the sonic bedrock for hip-hop’s ascendant soundcloud generation. STAHV, however, doesn’t come by this sound for the cool factor, it’s simply a digital native. Think of it as bedroom doom. Instead of capturing the sound happening between several people, Rosenschein is revealing the sounds inside his own head.

STAHV will be released on August 1st via Forbidden Planet. Follow STAHV on Facebook here.

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