INTRODUCTION TO HUNDREDTHOUSANDMILLION
So we’ve talked about the difference between art being a means to express talent, as opposed to it being a means to express one’s innermost thoughts, emotions, and individuality. Many times an artist manages to accomplish both, but it is rare, being that sometimes emotions can crowd out the talent and leave a product that is forced and misunderstood. HundredMillionThousand is an artist that’s on the fresher side of the music scene, and is definitely the most introspective musician we’ve reviewed so far here on the blog.
In my last blog article, where we discussed how to tell whether art is being expressed from deep, personal, emotional catalysts, or if it is simply a display (whether emotional, recreational, or both) of the capacity to be able to do so, we’d used HundredMillionThousand as an example of the former, when using the subjective example of music as an expressive art. In the article, I stated that to see the difference between expression of talent and of something deeper is concluded by the motivations set behind composing the music, while it is seen and felt in the final product/ body of work. Obviously, music is subjective, so what resonates as powerful or significant with one person can be completely different for someone else. However, going beyond this in a general sense to a much more specific and personal scenario, one can see the difference in what any given artist is specifically trying to accomplish.
HMT falls into this category with their debut album: There being a particular profoundness or degree of power as manifested by the artist that has a meaningful goal in mind of how he wants his listeners to feel, think, or act. Why can that be said?
Noel Jon, the artist who dons the alias “HundredMillionThousand”, is an electronic producer of Persian/ Filipino descent, who is currently based in Edmonton, Canada. I’ve reviewed DJs and producers before, but I must admit that it doesn’t get as interesting as Iranian sampling and culturalistic Iranian visual poetry. As many DJs and producers do, HMT collaborates with various other artists for his live performances. But it’s not only the rotating cast on stage, or even the different flavor that HMT adds to the music each time he’s on stage that makes his performances and collective work show the effort he puts forth to make his work special and different, but it’s the visual companionship, the unique Iraninan art and poetry, that makes each performance and song an experience. Noel even goes out of his way to continuously improve his videography and editing skills to add to this experience for the audience. Whether it works or not depends greatly on the audience.
On April 8th of this year, HMT released the limited edition vinyl of his debut album, “lp1”. Before I give my honest opinion of this album, I’d be remised if I didn’t first address the metaphysical aspect of it. While not a fan of the spiritual or mystic aspects(spoiler for my personal opinion later on), the goal of this body of work is extremely impressive and profound. Regarding music as an expressive art, right before mentioning HMT in the previous article, I mention that there are rare musical artists who have “profoundly emotional and metaphysical catalysts that [move] them to want to manifest in [the physical world around them] how they [feel], [think], or both. This can serve as a coping mechanism for pain, therapy for depression or [some other] instability, a way to reach out to others who may be able to relate, or a combination of all [of them].” I’ve found that all of this describes HMT, as this album is meant to be a personal audio diary journaling the various aspects of a continuing journey with mental illness.
Music is an escape and meta-emotional outlet for Noel on this album, as he uses what he loves about music, couples it with the essence of his Iranian culture with Iranian vocalizations, and delivers a product that is unique, powerful, and meaningful. I applaud the effort, soul, and reflective nature of this music composer.
Some pleasant surprises from the album were the old school hip hop influences, did not see that coming at all. In fact, artists he’s been related to are “A Tribe Called Quest” and “DJ Kush”. The percussion sets were also surprisingly moving and charmingly intrusive. The sound of this album varies from intense, dark, and abrasive, to charismatically care free and playful. This tonal shift could be seen as a fault, but it is not random. Once again it is meant to “document”, if you will, the changes and shifts that come with mental instability, and once again, HMT is using this form of art as an expressive outlet to reflect these dynamic emotions, something that should be deeply respected.
All of that being said, however, there are many who won’t be able to swallow the heavy to digest collective work that can be very invading at times. The contrasts in tone and style, while deliberate and almost necessary, simply may not be consistent enough for the average listener. I personally am not a fan of the spiritualistic and mystic overtones. And for most people who are religious who do respect the spiritual outlet of others, it can be hard to get on board simply because they may want to be a part of the experience, but either they don’t understand it enough, they don’t want to compromise their own beliefs, or both.
“lp1” by HundredMillionThousand is definitely a metaphysical and a profoundly meaningful journey, but it seems as though that that is the case mostly for the artist himself, and others who share his beliefs and culture. For others, the sound is still powerful, charming, suspenseful, and unpredictable.
The album is available in limited edition vinyl and digital: https://hundredmillionthousand.bandcamp.com/
If you’re interested in his music, please visit and follow him at: