Olan Mill – Pine


Olan Mill is the name of the duo (Alex Smalley and Svitlana Samoylenko) presenting Pine, the long-awaited second release of the british Serein label.

Serein started out as a net-label a few years ago. Following the succes of their Nest-release they reformed completely, and re-released their greatest succes as “Retold” – one of the most praised (re-)releases of 2009/2010. (BTW – the Serein website does not mention it, but most of their netlabel releases – including the original NEST EP – can still be found on archive.org.)

Following up a release like that is not an easy task. But Olan Mill lives up to the expectations, without simply ‘copying’ the Nest success formula.

Pine” is a relatively short album (10 tracks, 35 minutes – which nowadays seems to become a new sort of standard for CD length).
Few instruments were used in this recording: piano, violin, pipe organ and guitar. The sounds are not always easily recognisable as such, because of the reverb of the church they were recorded in (or maybe because of the post-processing).
Most of the tracks are somewhat more ‘abstract ambient’, which makes “Pine” stand out from the flood of recent post-classical ‘chamber music’ releases.
Still, the compositions are clearly romantic by nature, and the moments the piano (or violin) part takes its place in the foreground, it is immediately clear that Olan Mill are Nest “label-mates”.

If you favoured Nest‘s Retold, or if you enjoy anything from Olafur Arnalds to Stars of the Lid, Olan Mill‘s Pine should take a prominent place on your want-list.

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