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Anjou * Hotel Neon * Olan Mill

Anjou - Epithymia

Anjou - Epithymia

ANJOU – EPITHYMÍA  Also on Spotify

Epythymía  is the follow up of the duo’s self-titled debut release on Kranky (2014). Mark Nelson (Pan⋅American, Labradford) and Robert Donne (Labradford, Aix Em Klemm, Cristal) simply pick up where they left, to further explore soundscapes that “embrace flux and ambiguity: drones swell and shudder, hushed currents of noice glitch and dissolve, atmospheres congeal and liquify.”

Four (of six) pieces take their time to slowly evolve and pass the ten minute mark; the other two are short interludes of around 3-4 minutes.

“Alternately spacious and dense” within the same track (check An Empty Bank, for example)this is an adventurous trip of “mesmeric synthetic drift and veiled melodic undertow.”


Context

HOTEL NEON – CONTEXT  Also on Spotify

I assume regular readers are already used to the fact that this blog mainly recommends digital downloads. There’s a simple reason: many of the physical editions are already sold out by the time I have listened to the album twice. That is especially true with the releases on Fluid Audiothey often are sold out on pre-orders following an announcement in their mailing list.
If you’re a masochist and want to see what you missed here, check out this page. All others can simply focus on the digital download (or play on Spotify).

On their third full-length album, Hotel Neon (Andrew and Michael Tasselmeyer with Steven Kemner, with Lacey Tasselmeyer contributing some beautiful Eno-esque vocals on two tracks) explore a full night’s cycle: the titles of the nine tracks are all timestamps between 12:41 AM and 8:30 AM.

Night music, indeed… Music to close your eyes to.

But not necessarily ‘dark’.  That depends on the context: “arguably the only thing that gives a song its meaning in the mind of the listener.”
Context will have a unique, shifting message that can only be decoded by the listener alone, and that in turn also makes it a personal album.”

Hakobune makes a guest appearance too, dropping in around 3.04 AM.


Olan Mill Orient

OLAN MILL – ORIENT

There’s a statement in my policy saying that I do not review cassette-only releases unless there’s a digital download available too. So here’s a dilemma: Orient was released on march, 31 (Yes, I know I’m late to the show) in an edition of 90 and an extra 10 in a special edition package. Of course they’re sold out now.

But should I recommend to check out the download if the Dauw label has set the price to an ff-ing 1.000 (thousand) Euro? No, of course not. So I won’t.

Which is a pity, because this Olan Mill is a fascinating versatile album, a jaw dropping collection of soft harp music (Arpon), overtone singing accompanying an east-european choir (Molanret), modern classical string arrangements (Birove), dreamlike choirs (Alve) – and much, much more.

This should be heard by many more than just the hundred that went for the analog cassette format!
So don’t be silly, Dauwmake it available to those that do not necessarily need cassettes, for a reasonable price. The album deserves it.

Edit June, 11 – Dauw/Olan Mill reaction:
In a reaction to this post, Dauw explained that it was not theír decision not to have a digital download available: it was on specific request from the artist himself.
(He also personally comments below about the reason why).
It seems impossible to hide a digital download from the page, so that was the reason why the price was set at this level instead.

Also, the good news is that there will be an additional release of this album later this year, so it will not only be available on cassette but also on vinyl, Cd ánd as a digital download.

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Hotel Neon; Hessien; Ricardo Donoso; Find Hope in Darkness; K. Novotny

Your Empire, In Decline

Hotel NeonHOTEL NEON HOTEL NEON
Hotel Neon was established – as they use to say about hotels – in 2013 by twin brothers Michael and Andrew Tasselmyer.
This debut album – recorded using simple means: a USB recording device, cheap guitars, effects processor and a personal computer – was originally released as a limited edition cassette which quickly sold out.
Word spread around until (lucky for us) it reached Home Normal‘s Ian Hawgood, who remastered the collection (‘playing around with twin decks to focus on the beautiful lows that were hidden within’) into an album “that contains with it that stirring element of something glorious yet hidden within the recesses of the mind’s eye”.

Also on Spotify


Your Empire, In Decline

HESSIEN – YOUR EMPIRE, IN DECLINE
After two albums in 2010 and a handfull of singles and EP’s, Your Empire, In Decline” is Hessien’s ‘debut’ on the Long Story Recording Company – a new record label (previously  Twice Removed).
Hessien is a duo of Tim Martin (Maps and Diagrams, Black Elk) and Charles Sage (y0t0, Rothko Chapel) – and I assume this namedropping is enough to make you want to check out their beautiful “dalliances in electronic textures, repeated motifs and cavernous off-kilter rhythms”.


Sarava Exu

RICARDO DONOSO – SARAVÁ EXU
The sounds of this album benefit from the extensive explanatory liner notes, which I am not going to copy here since you can read them here on the Denovali release page. Donosoborn in Rio de Janeiro but currently residing in Boston, takes his inspiration from movie trailer music – “music that usually develops fully and extremely in two minutes or less and has as its sole focus to trigger an emotional response with the viewer”. Or listener, in this case.
Rooted in the rituals of the Brazilian Quimbanda cult, these vivacious soundscapes, sometimes with startling effects, are – “a musical accompaniment of Descent into one’s own personal hell.”



RICARDO DONOSO – VESPERUM


Find Hope in DarknessFIND HOPE IN DARKNESS – LOCKED SO TIGHTLY IN OUR DREAMS
The first thing to notice is that Find Hope in Darkess’ artist, Glenn Dick (from Belgium) is 15 years old. There is no way you would guess that from the two long tracks on this album: dark, mature drones, filled with dubby echoes of faint rhythms.
And this is not even his first album!
Previous albums explored different genres (post-rock; EDM, breakcore), but “Locked So Tightly…” successfully focuses on desolate industrial ambient drones.

Also on Spotify



Gesture & Texture

K. NOVOTNY – GESTURE & TEXTURE
Delicate interplay of musical sounds and manipulated field recordings: “a meeting of natural field recorded sources, which form the basis of most of the album, with the reprocessing and twisting of those sounds into the whole composition.
It’s a kind of natural-world-meets-technology philospohy where neither one overtakes the other in terms of
importance.”
K. Novotny  is an artist from Poland. Gesture & Texture” , his second album, is released on the (Krakow-based) Preserved Sound label

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