The U.S. Hard EP is the debut release from Portland talent, Santiago Leyba (U.S. Hard). These three raw tracks pulsate with a manufactured nostalgia for Chicago and Detroit. U.S. Hard flirts with polyrhythms and syncopation, yet he pits organic rhythmic texture against harsh, distorted timbres redolent of machinery.
A machinist uses machine tools to cut away excess material from something in order to match it more clearly to a blueprint, and the production here follows a similar spirit. Stripped-down composition makes the tracks condensed and claustrophobic— check the flanged high frequencies in “Junk” — but also leaves open space for listener response. This reflects U.S. Hard's interest in the tension that emerges from the imitation of mechanic regularity by organic material, or vice versa.
released August 26, 2014
All music written and recorded by Santiago Leyba
Cover Art by Christian Villacillo
Design + Layout by Nathaniel Young
Mastered by Presley Perez