The Unified Pounding Theory

The Unified Pounding Theory

Gems of industrial taiko
Dean Hawthorne
Savage Aural Hotbed
Mark Black
Stuart DeVaan
William Melton
Savage Aural Hotbed
Catalog Number: 
new music
music for dance

Minneapolis, MN

Release Date: 
Oct 17, 2006
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
The Unified Pounding TheoryiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
2.Fortnight In Londrina06:50$0.99
7.Dead Blow05:07$0.99
9.Beat Raffle07:13$0.99
10.Dizzy Dean06:08$0.99
One Sheet: 

If you were on the planning committee for the Orc High School prom in Middle Earth, the obvious dance band to book would be Savage Aural Hotbed. Combining industrial chutzpa and Japanese precision Taiko drumming these four guys would make the least limber monster bop its socks off. Their instruments are from wrecking yards, surplus stores, and the Home Depot. They have voided the warranties on countless grinders, drill, and power saws. Springs, coils, and anything that clangs are music to their (plugged) ears. You are as likely to find them playing clubs, bars, and guerilla sidewalk shows as at the venue for their next gig; providing music for an iron pour. And yet there’s music here to delight the brain as well as the brawn. All ramifications of the Unified Pounding Theory are here put to the test. Crank the volume and try their hypothesis for yourself.



"...the sound of steel and rust, oil drums and hubcaps, screeches, sparks, grinders and gears finding new fury and energy... It's also fun, it makes you smile to see a man make music with an electric saw..."

by Scott Simon


This Minneapolis band uses whatever found objects that make sense—power tools, saw, oil drums—to incorporate into their percussive infernal machine. Influenced by Japanese Taiko drumming—huge wooden drums that can’t be tuned and whose size is determined by the block of wood chosen, SAH manage to sound industrial and ceremonial at once. The combination of wood and metal gives depth and power to the rhythms. It also provides an ancient quality to the tracks, as if timelessness is explored along with sound. Short sharp blasts like “Rotation” and “Cavity” set up themes that are explored more in depth in “Dead Blow” and “Fortnight in Londria.” “Row” highlights the set with its pulsing, groovy high. Rumor has it that the band has been willing to go to great lengths to find instruments, record field sounds, once even dangling off a mountain. The dedication shows. This is pounding, droning rhythm, but also very human and open. Savage Aural Hotbed can fill a stadium or a park with their big compassionate drive. 8/10.

by Mike Wood


Imagine a mad scientist builds a couple of giant robots. Huge steel monstrosities that lumber through the streets stomping on buildings and smashing buses and trains into scrap metal just for the fun of it. Buzzsaws blare, metal grinds against metal, and the roar of the machinery overpowers us all. Now imagine that the robots are programmed to do all this to the beat of a Japanese taiko drum. That is Savage Aural Hotbed.

by Christopher Bahn


Too bad there aren't more all-percussion bands...but this is probably because taking such an approach severely limits the potential for commercial success. Savage Aural Hotbed consists of four men: Mark Black, Stuart DeVaan, Dean Hawthorne, and William Melton. This band is obviously an almost purely artistic endeavor for these fellows. Instead of following the usual paths inherent in music, they have created their own world in which traditional rhythms collide with a wild variety of percussion objects found in a wild variety of peculiar sources. The overall sound seems heavily influenced by African tribal music and German electronic artists from the 1970s. At times moody and odd and at other times surprisingly danceable, these tracks are bound to mesmerize fans of the underground...while leaving virtually all traditional listeners scratching their heads in confusion. In our book...these guys have scored another direct HIT. We can't help but be immediately intoxicated by tracks like "Rotation...", "Carnivore" (our favorite), "Dead Blow," and "Dizzy Dean." Truly inventive stuff. Recommended. (Rating: 5+++)



Savage Aural Hotbed are four guys from Minneapolis who like to hit things. All kinds of things: the list of instruments inside the CD booklet includes plastic and metal barrels, leaf springs, sheet metal, an air hammer, and a tractor muffler. Their tribal, industrial-strength percussive workouts are world music–we're just not sure which world.