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About

Human_Error by Hidden Number

Art by Chris Unruh

“The ten songs found on “Burn Alive” by the (Pacific) Northwest’s Hidden Number are pedal to the floor, don’t look back, herky-jerky neo-wave that features sounds so angular as to be jagged. Synths, guitars and vocals lope and rage back and forth between the speakers with such pummeling power that they wouldn’t even bother to stop and [make love] to the wasted corpse of electroclash to let the listener catch their breath.” — sicthings.com

Deep in the heart of founding member/engineer/producer Dean Swanson’s recording complex Magnets Large & Small, the band Hidden Numberhas completed their second album, HUMAN_ERROR.  They continue tirelessly to craft compositions that lead the band in unexpected directions toward unknown destinations.  Coalescing however it will, the music ignores any barrier of genre, label, and niche.  Hidden Number channels a broad expanse of individual influences—be it compositions of art, film, music, or mythology—in a dynamic approach of intensity and subtlety, noise and melody, order and chaos, painted against walls of textural sonic information through their guitars, synthesizers and samplers, drums, and voice.

The current band lineup—Josh Anderson, Dean Swanson, Kai Strandskov, and Joe Stuhff—is the intersection of three unusual stories.  Dean and Joe are rumored to have begun their music careers in the torrid deserts of Las Vegas, shunning the bright lights and facades of the strip for playing desert generator gigs in caves to destructive eviction house parties in various high school bands.  But it wasn’t until an enlightening five day fast and expedition through the surrounding wastelands involving the discovery of an uncertainly originating logical system, and with a subsequent return to solid materials, that Dean decided to join with Joe to begin the first collective that would be later identified as an early incarnation of Hidden Number.  Faced with closed minds and a narrow conduit for their artistic pursuits, the intuition that more pieces of the puzzle remained unfound began to grow and the band disbanded with the understanding that research must continue in the hills of Seattle, Washington.  It was there that Swanson would found the Magnets Large & Small (ML&S) audio research facilities as we know today.

Meanwhile, it is said that percussion expert Kai Strandskov studied Mathematics at Southern Oregon University and practiced drumming patterns in a number of local bands:  Smidgen, Mono e Mono, Heroin{e} Martyr Coalition, Boba’s Feet, Hamster Basket, and A Million Fingers.  Upon graduation, he translocated to Silicon Valley for further studies relating to puzzling observations in the sub-fields of chaos theory and strange attractors.  This work eventually directed Kai to relocate operations to Seattle where a mutual acquaintance, and avid collector of the arcane, introduced him to the collective of musicians at ML&S.  Upon syncretism of both overlapping and discrete observations from said individuals, the expanded group allegedly summoned subconsciously long time confidante and Southern Oregonian companion, Josh Anderson, who on a whim preceded the arrival in Seattle of the other band mates, after a harrowing lifetime of deep psychological enlightenment and trauma at the hands of a mysterious Oregonian commune—where he could separate long shifts of manual labor only with psychedelic experimentation, and guitar and keyboard manipulation.   The current physical form of Hidden Number thusly provides an outlet and focus for further studies, while generating the benefits of further funding.

Hidden Number members bring diverse strengths and abilities to the collective whole.  Dean Swanson; experimenting regularly on guitar, synthesizers, samples, vocals, and Theremin, is a freelance recording engineer and proprietor of Magnets Large & Small—a recording studio, independent record label, and audio research facility located beneath the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.  Guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist, Josh Anderson doubles as three dimensional artist for the band and many venerable B movies.  Joe Stuhff, bassist, has performed in numerous Las Vegas bands and was a hip-hop artist for Priceless Game and Beatmaster’s Guild, providing the solid rhythmical backbone for Hidden Number’s dense textures.  Kai Strandskov, trained in mathematics and jazz drumming, assumes all acoustic/electronic drums and percussion, while backing up the vocals and computer software programming.

Today, the band members continue developing their musical dialectic, touring in support of their new album HUMAN_ERROR, working with numerous side projects and collaborators, continuing as participants and supporters of the local independent Seattle arts scene, and continually revising their exegesis through thoughtful study and peer review.  ~

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