HIDE 'Black Flames'
"HIDE materialized fully realized, their first shows shocking as your friend giving birth to a teenager. The music, the visual identity, and the immersive live experience were all in place from day one, each an essential component of a singular vision. Though thick with a heavy and austere aesthetic, the political messages were as unmistakeable as they were irreducible.
It’s pitch black except for shocking strobes, and these flashes reveal only flesh in motion. The duo hides in the dark, in smoke, their faces masked or hooded. And this skin, glimpsed and faceless, become like an animal hide.
It’s such a perfect single syllable—hide: starting off soft as unobstructed breath, gliding into a casual greeting—hi—and landing with a hard click of the tongue at the back of the teeth. But HIDE umbrellas such multiplicities, and collapses so many apparent paradoxes with that simple syllable. The beats are machine sounds, stripped of all ornamentation, triggering an instinctual response. And coupled with the hypnotic image of the pulsating flesh, the audience is reduced to their animal selves, anonymous and free.
It’s Body Music, not escapism, but basking in confrontation. The aesthetic is the political."
— Tim Kinsella