Hauras is the newly christened project for Howard Ryan, an idiosyncratic San Francisco musician who had previously operated under the Snickers moniker. This new name Hauras translates from the Finnish as ‘fragile,’ and a certain fragility exists as a dialectic condition to Ryan’s strange sounds. The argument could be made that Ryan is a deconstructionist of the archetypal ‘rock’ song, dissembling it into eerie echoes of guitar noise and narcoleptic vocals, something akin to Michael Morely’s work as Gate or a particular vein within Richard Youngs’ vast oeuvre (coincidentally, Ryan has collaborated with Youngs).
At the same time, one could easily defend the position that Ryan is an alchemist, assembling the base elements of tone and dissonance that always manage to self-manifest into the sonic equivalent of a homunculus, thus appearing similar to the perverse occlusions of Death & Beauty Foundation, one of the more enigmatic projects of England’s hidden reverse. From either position, the results from Hauras are peculiar, strange, and often uncanny. Once brought (into) existence, musical forms crumble and fall apart in real time through intransitive mantras of repetitive guitar strum and the occasionally whispered vocal incantation.
In These Coming Days is the debut recording for Hauras on the Helen Scarsdale Agency, and Ryan posits these songs concerning themselves with the psychology of a society at the end of civilization. Prescient for sure, as all of the music here was recorded well before the plague struck the globe. Ryan agitates this gilded decay further with abrasive bursts of utility-band scanner feeds and backmasked radio snippets, highlighting the sense of something utterly broken.
Inspired by Allison Knowles and Ulrike Ottinger.