Haunting desert noir in half-busted tremolo rhythms



This haunting desert noir vibrates through the dashboard of a trusty older cruiser. A half-old tape machine, half-busted turntable. Ghost melody of the badlands. Tremolo melancholy across dust heavy rhythms. Rattlehawk is Joe Mendonca, a sound maker and producer out of Portland, Oregon.

Rattlehawk’s work consists of original compositions, with no sample chops used. The sound thumps and echoes through tremolo, springing reverb, and pitch-explorative delays. Tape hiss and anything that warbles. Live instrumentation such as guitars, bass, theremin, synthesizers, organs, and even voice, are often then sampled and mangled. The beats are hip-hop in nature, combing elements of 1960s pysch, garage, and old drum machine hits.

Since 2006 and under various monikers, Rattlehawk has collaborated with artists such as Portugal. The Man, Theory Hazit, Vursatyl (Lifesavas, Blackalicious), Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox), Guilty Simpson, Spencer Moody (Murder City Devils), Boots Riley, Mr. Lif, Libretto, Zoo?, and Bushido Garvey.

“Desert Rhythms” is a series of releases by the artist. The first three full-length volumes, “Scared Jackal Walk”, “Black Sun Moccasins”, and “Vroom the Unhaunts” are all available through Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify, and other digital staples. In the future is the long worked on album “Naked Holster”.