hollAnd is the stage name of electronic pop multi-instrumentalist/producer/wizard Trevor Kampmann. He’s from Illinois, but has called Washington DC home for at least 15 years. As a kid, his parents pushed him into acting, and as a child actor, he appeared on a couple of episodes of Little House and a couple of episodes of Who’s The Boss, but that career never really took off. Later on, he had his own aspirations of becoming a professional skateboarder, but like about 99.99% of kids with that same aspiration, it didn’t work. Since then, he’s made a bunch of records, produced a bunch more, and he’s even made a couple of movies.
In 1995, after spending a couple of years in a computer programming job, he released his first album — …And Its Head Popped Off under the moniker See-Saw. That record, and the magnificent 1996 follow-up Magnétophone were released by Jenny Toomey’s label Simple Machines. I’m not sure why, but he used the names See-Saw and Sea-Saw interchangeably. He finally decided to use a different name, and somehow came up with hollAnd. In 1997, Your Orgasm was the first album he released using that name, and it was on the Darla label. He soon moved to Teen-Beat Records, where he still has a place. He’s been a frequent collaborator with Teen-Beat label boss Mark Robinson (Unrest, Grenadine, Air Miami, Flin Flon, etc).
Kampmann also engineered the last Tsunami record, and the earth-shattering Those Who Tell The Truth… by Explosions in The Sky. He produced and engineered all of the Barcelona records. If none of that is good enough for you, he’s also worked with Cat Power. The point is that the man has done a lot of work in a lot of different capacities with a lot of different bands. Primarily in the DC-area.
I’ve mentioned Kampmann a bunch throughout this year, and a couple of times this week. I thought it was definitely time to highlight one of his songs. This is that song.
“Six Four” by hollAnd
Your Orgasm is a fantastic record that was made almost exclusively with analog synths, drum machine, and vocals. There’s a little bit of live drumming by John Dugan from Chisel, a little bit of guitar, and a little bit of Jenny Toomey singing, but it’s pure 1970s technology. At the same time, though, it sounds like exactly what Ben Gibbard was trying to do in The Postal Service. That’s what a lot of people say about hollAnd. hollAnd was The Postal Service before The Postal Service was The Postal Service.
While most of the album is a bit more sparse than tonight’s song, this one is a little wild. A little chaotic. A little frenzied. I like it that way.
This one goes from naught to sixty in about one second. It’s not that it’s particularly hard or fast. Just that it drops right into the business end. It’s all squelchy and squawky and beautifully noisy. I don’t know what’s all in there other than minimoog, but there’s lots of analog synth. And a bit of guitar. And layer upon layer of crunchy, chewy, gooey deliciousness.
You walk like you’re six feet four
But you’re not
I can’t even begin to imagine what that means to “walk like you’re six feet four”. Long stride? Always ducking under tree limbs that you don’t need to duck under? I dunno. I like it nonetheless.
It feels like I’m 54
But I’m not even close
This song is only 94 seconds long, and I wish it went on for another three minutes or so.
You can buy a physical CD copy of Your Orgasm directly from the Darla Records web store here.