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Hior Chronik * Francis M. Gri * Polaroid Notes

Fall And Flares

Hior Chronik - Out of the Dust


It’s been a few years since Unspoken Words and In-Between (with Arovane), and I seem to have missed a few 2016/2017 releases, but the renewed introduction to Hior Chronik (Athens-born but Berlin-based George Papadopoulos) is nothing less than astonishing.
After three solo records and two collaborations with Arovane, Out Of The Dust sounds like the album that could appeal to a large audience (the same audience that appreciates Max Richter et al), “embracing delicate piano themes and dark ambient/drone tones, while at the same time searching for new territories to explore in the neo-classical scene”.

Out Of The Dust” is a political quote about how we can fight against the crisis, but also against the existential anguish of surviving.”  

In this wide-screen  cinematic instrumentation, the trumpet is a distinctive instrument. Used in a restrained way, never too intrusive, it is the element that connects different genres. But it’s remarkable that this instrument is mainly used in the first half of the album, which is somewhat dark (though I prefer to call it melancholic – probably depends on your own mood). But gradually there’s a shift in atmosphere: the album ends “more open and spacious. It’s like a tunnel that I see the light coming closer to me”. 

Fall And Flares


Fifth album under his own name and on his own label KrysalisoundJust like with the music under his earlier moniker (Apart), Francis M. Gri aims at “combining electronic and acoustic sounds in a mix of dream-like images and emotions.”

Fall And Flares was recorded in autumn 2016 and is dedicated to the colours, feelings and emotions of that season (as illustrated by the cover picture).
But there’s no need to wait for next fall: the music can perfectly be enjoyed in any other season too.

It is a digital-only release by choice: ‘for helping to save environmental issues.’

Polaroid Notes


Look at the cover image and check the title: you know you’re in for some melancholic moments. A “virtual filmscore for an unfilmed movie or TV Series – provoking pictures of fate and despair”.

Polaroid Notes has released quite a few releases under this name, but his personal details remain largely undisclosed. He’s Andreas, from Germany (“somewhere between Munich and the Alps”), has DJ-d since the 80’s, previously released in different genres, but now focuses on composing gentle piano-based compositions with a “deeply reflective and cinematic sound”.
Not just ‘solo’-piano, by the way: the piano themes are completed with “analogue and digital equipment, electronics and drone texture.”

Misty and lonesome, but never desperate: there’s a promise that it won’t be long before the fog pulls away and the trees will become green again.

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Giulio Aldinucci; Arovane & Hior Chronik; Jeremy Young & Aaron Martin; Söll

Söll - Cävv

Spazio Sacro

Giulio Aldinucci‘s soundscapes (or, as he prefers to call it: his musical research) ‘always focuses on different synthesis and on the use of field recordings‘. The pieces on Spazio Sacro (Sacred Space) are all closely related to the area where he grew up: Tuscany, Italy.
“The field recordings are taken in places that are related to the idea of ‘sacred’ in different ways. The starting point is a reflection on how human rites define new soundscapes (e.g. processions, architecture of churchesand cathedrals or ruins of isolated mountain sanctuaries).”
In a way, this album could be described as a collection of audio postcards from Italy. Or better: small details  of audio postcards, since the field recordings are heavily manipulated and moody layers of electronics are added for enhanced (sacred) atmospheres.
As with all TimeReleasedSounds releases, this album is  available in a standard edition as well as in a beautiful luxurious hand-crafted Deluxe edition (limited to 75 copies).

Arovane & Hior Chronik - In-Between


The well-respected blog A Strangely Isolated Place has also become a record label with special dedication to beautifully packed vinyl releases. After Uncharted Places and Europetheir third release is a collaboration project by Arovane (Uwe Zahn, Germany) and Hior Chronik  (from Greece).
Both artists merge their broad experience in different musical styles but at the same time keeping their focus on ethereal, orchestral and modern classical ambient music. It’s a kaleidoscopic collection, ranging from sequencer-based tracks to melodic guitar themes and all kinds of soundscapes ‘in-between’.
“Pianos, field-recordings and strings amongst modular synthesizers create a shimmering canvas of ambient music, touching the heart, and transporting you to the musical equilibrium that exists between these two good friends.”
In-Between is available as white double-vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, and as a digital download.

A Pulse Passes from Hand to Hand

On this collaboration each piece starts with a slow, lo-fi piano tape loop, immediately resembling Basinski’s work.
From there the loop is “then augmented brick by brick in fluid, stream-of-consciousness instrumental improvisation”. There is no synth or computer sound here: just the tape loops, guitar, zither, brushes, whisks, field recordings (Jeremy Young) and cello, vinyl, lap steel, bowed cymbal, bowed banjo, organ and singing bowls (Aaron Martin).
“The four repeating tape splices never quite retreat too far from the foreground, and as the textures become more and more lush, the loops seem to change their definition, adapting endlessly to the sonics around them.”

Also on Spotify

Söll - Cävv

There is not a single word without a diacritic trema on this album by Söll – alias of Jorge Pandeirada from Portugal.
This adventurous debut is released on the dutch Esc.Rec (pronounced Ass.Crack) label – a label that specializes in releasing music that defies any categorisation.
With a degree in Music Production and Electronic Music, and now studying for a master in Sond Design, Pandeirada sure knows to create some fascinating detailes (‘fine-grained’) sound sculptures.
“Listening to Cävv is like listening to the perfect soundtrack to an abstruse story, slowly unfolding. Like gliding into in the dreamworld of an abstract creature living in darkness, oblivious to light. Like probing the most placid moment of something monstrous. Like a deep reflection of consciousness.”

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Bruno Sanfilippo – Upon Contact Reworked

Upon Contact Reworked

Though the album is presented as if it were a remix-album (and in fact it also ís)the basic track is not taken from a previous release from Bruno Sanfilippo‘s extensive discography. The title track and opener of Upon Contact Reworked is a new composition which is the basis for further reworks, reconstructions and remixes by different artists.

Upon Contact (the original)  is a very quiet, satie-esque piano composition, leaving a lot of space for the notes to breathe.

The title track is then reworked by Francesco Giannico, Olan Mill, Leonardo Rosado, Jorge Haro, Quivion and Hior Chronik respectively.

I assume the contributors have never met while making this album, but judged by the resulting tracks on this album they must’ve been communicating telepathically. All of the remixing artists have added their own views and watermarks, but overall they kept very close to the original atmosphere.
There are no disturbing exceptions or exceptions that break the spell.

But still: you can hear the subtle differences in every approach; the acoustic piano composition slowly morphing into more electronic areas before returning to the sound of the piano in the closing Hior Chronik version.

There are quite a lot remix compilations floating around, but rarely have they been presented as a conceptual unity like this album, which feels like it could’ve been the work of one single artist.
I guess that proves the strength of the original underlying composition of Upon Contact.

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