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Incorporating a diverse range of influences, from samba to no wave, Handle, a three-piece from Manchester (now based between Manchester / London / Brussels) made up of Giulio Erasmus and Nirvana Heire former members of D.U.D.S (the first British band to sign to Castle Face) and Leo Hermitt, a genderqueer multidisciplinary artist, renowned for their challenging, thought-provoking work on the city’s arts and literary scenes. The group mesh politics with a trans experience of time and a vibrant, avant-garde freedom of approach.
Handle make a uniquely minimal sound, buoyed by poetic, urgent vocals. Each instrument (bass, drums, keyboard and voice) is permitted its own space, yet somehow the result is a brilliantly unified yet understated sonic experience that demands then commands your attention.
Powered by looping, hypnotic synth lines, quaking flexes of bass, clattering tribal percussion and expeditious, often agitated vocals that cordially sprint, Handle's songs – all of which clock in around the two minute mark – owe as much to performance poetry as they do to the vibrancy of post-punk and new wave. In these times of anxiety and confusion, Handle provide a much-needed dose of musical catharsis, albeit disorientating at times, pre-empting sense from the shards of sound they gather about themselves. 'Life’s Work' begins with isolated swells of pitch before driving full throttle into an exuberant rhythmic workout. 'Sunday Morning' shares this elasticated feel for melody and communication, twisting about itself in rubbery fashion. 'Coagulate' is more disembodied from the pulse, but similarly retains a boldness of vision.
'Step By Step' showcases what Handle excel at, it's a clangorous leviathan of beat-forward dance punk, peppered with Leo's fluid vocal inertia. It's dizzying yet divinely exuberant. 'Punctured Time' evokes the same cascading flow "Punctured time, bicycle wheel, what if I told you that your lips were like venus, lips were like what? Lips were like venus and that my tongue was a trampoline?" sings Leo amid undulating bass, toppling drums and jabs of keyboard ambience.
Handle make music occupied by dark shapes that move beneath a roiling surface. Jolting, shattering, cracking, smoothed, bounded, punctuated. Handle's debut album ‘In Threes’ is a collection of frenetic sounds for frenzied forms. 'In Threes' was recorded and mixed by Robin Williams and follows on from the band's previous EP 'Demonstrations', released through their own imprint Absolute Fiction.
Barry says: 'In Threes' is a brilliantly diverse, oddball suite of clashing grooves and jagged melodies. Sonically interesting, thematically consistent and ram-packed with influences from all over the musical spectrum. What a trip.
01. Vocal Exercise
02. Punctured Time
03. What It Does
04. Lifes Work
06. Sunday Morning
08. Rubber Necks
09. In Tension
10. Step By Step