Haare / Gelsomina - split CD-R
(Musically Incorrect Records MIR#26)
Titles tell you a lot about a record.  The two bands contained within have each named their half of the record.  Haare call their half ‘White Plague Nebula’ whilst Gelsomina opt for ‘Futurological Pessimism’.  Both titles leave you in little doubt as to what you are going to be hearing.  Gelsomina kick us off in very noisy fashion using Haare source sounds with the favour returned on the last track.  Unfortunately on this and on their other two tracks Gelsomina never really manage to light my fire.  It's very loud and very noisy but this type of full on noise assault rarely captures my attention for long.  Haare offer a more subdued and measured take on the whole noise thing allowing both their sounds and the listener the opportunity to breathe and relax into the swirling soundworld they have created. 

Half Asleep - Subtitles for the Silent Versions
(Humpty Dumpty Records / We Are Unique! Records HMPTY014)
It's always nice when I get sent something that sounds out of the ordinary from the normal strangeness that I treat and abuse my hearing with through the week.  This album from Half Asleep, who seems to be Belgium musician Valerie Leclercq alongside various friends and family, is a rather lovely set of songs showcasing her playing augmented by a parade of vocalists (and occasional instrumentalists) all of whom do great justice to her compositions.  The music, played mostly on piano or acoustic guitar,  is a mix of wistful, but not twee, folk and cabaret flamboyance. Leclercq's playing is understated and stately often with a gently plaintive air to it whilst the vocals provide an ethereal mist that blankets the instruments.
As I said at the beginning, not something that I get the opportunity to listen to very often for these pages but I'm certainly glad that I got to in this case and I would heartily recommend it to those with a hankering for some songs.

Hall of Mirrors - Forgotten Realm
(Silentes Minimal Editions sme0927)
Nicely disconcerting set of deep, dark ambient rumble from this duo of Andrea Marutti (Amon) and Giuseppe Verticchio (Nimh) here ably supported by Andrea Freschi (Subinterior) and Andrea Ferreris (Sil Muir) which, it must be said, is an awful lot of Andreas for one record. 
The 5 tracks that make up 'Forgotten Realm' are concerned with teasing out as much spatial resonance as possible from their sound sources.  On the whole the album paints a pretty crumbly sort of vista but this bleak post-industrial ennui often breaks nicely into a more plaintive and disconsolate sort of ambience with the addition of more melodic and  melancholy interludes. It is these interludes (with the exception of the guitar on track 5 which I didn't like at all) that are the saviour of this album.  The rest of it isn't bad by any means, it's all pretty good in fact, but the seamless transitions into the more decorative aspects really catch the ear and pull you back into the music's reality whenever one starts to slip back into our more mundane one.

Hallowed Circuit - Dead Planet Transmission
(Inam Records 669)
I'm going to guess that this is our friend Ryan Huber again under another of his myriad aliases.  I could be wrong but as I have no info on it (if I ever did then it's got lost in the chaos of my life) that it's on the Inam label is a major clue and also it sounds like his work.
HC is a dirty &  grimy noise drone project with a pulsating post-industrial heart.
It's pretty similar in texture to his two more regular projects (Sujo & Olekranon) but without the industrial-metal intensity of the latter and the epic post-rock scope of the former.  It is however a deliciously subtle collection (albeit a definition of subtle that can accommodate moments of brutal noise) and showcases just how accomplished a composer Ryan really is particularly on the majestic title track.
As ever, anything on Inam is heartily recommended but as my copy is numbered 30 of 30 you may struggle to get hold of this one.
(inamrecs [AT] yahoo.com)

Halo Manash - Par-Antrai: Vir
(Aural Hypnox AH01)
Halo Manash - Syoma
(Aural Hypnox AH03)
I've never been to Finland but with the evidence at hand i'm guessing it's dark a lot.  Also cold, quiet, monochrome and with lots of naked trees casting very long shadows through which tall, pale, bald men in ill-fitting evening suits walk, wringing their boney hands and tittering.
The 5 Aural Hypnox releases (3 groups) reviewed in this months ECReviews all share a common aesthetic of rumbling drones and discordant tones.  I have very little information on the people involved in these projects but I wonder how much crossover there is between them. 
Halo Manash produce epic soundscapes that evoke vast, rolling, snowy tundras.  The sound of an encroaching ice-age where only the occasional addition of, usually, quiet, subtle and funereal drums show that there is still life somewhere in this vast emptiness.  What is less successful is the chanting (on Vir) which does nothing for me except make me reach for the skip button but fortunately there is little of this.  Two beautifully packaged and damn fine albums that are yet more reason to show your support for this excellent label.

Hapsburg Braganza - Hatchling
(Idiosyncratic Records idcd003)
New Belgian label Idiosyncratic have launched themselves onto the world with a trio of recordings.  This one, by UK composer Phil Begg is a slow build collage of aquatic field recordings that slowly yield to an insistent harmonium drone which in turn is absorbed into the whole.
Begg's music is layered to the sky with sounds and textures but I must admit to finding chunks of this album difficult to listen to.  The sounds he uses are often harsh and arid which, while making an interesting contrast to the water derived sounds and the sumptuous and huge harmonium drones, that are for me the definite highlights, they aren't particularly very engaging.
That said though, these aspects are in the minority here and for the most part 'Hatchling' is a diverting listen that has been assembled with a keen ear for composition and a willingness to allow the music plenty of opportunities to evolve.

Haz-Mat / Ghoul Detail - Corroded Horizon Dawning
(Blast Periphery Fall-Out002)
You know that feeling you get when you've just taken that one swig too many at the end of a long day's drinking.  That moment when the world starts to tilt and the slow dawning arrives that there's no way you're coming out of the other side of this unsullied.  When the internal and the external are hell-bent on meeting.  When up and down are concepts that are no longer understandable and are rapidly becoming redundant.  When every fibre of your being hones in on that one undeniable fact!  Well, that's what this album sounds like and you know you want it.

Head of the Taurus - Calamity / Perdition
(Droehnhaus #11)
Another 7" single from the productive and eclectic Droehnhaus label.  German sludge metal merchants Head of the Taurus provide two very heavy cuts of down tuned, sphincter rumbling, heavier than Thor's hammer, dooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm!
Opening with a bpm that could be measured in ice-ages and with riffs made of gravel and thumbtacks 'Calamity' is a pitiless listen with a nice Godflesh undertone. 'Perdition' offers a continuation of the brutality full of chugging, crunching guitars and hammered drums.
My sole complaint is that even with my preference for instrumental music I thought a strong Max Cavalera style vocalist would fit in really easily with the music these guys make and lift it way up into the cosmos.

Hearts of Palm - Hearts of Palm
(Palmetto Records No 1)
Absolutely corking album of occasionally turbulent, occasionally tranquil improv from this US combo.  Opening your album with a tumultuous cacophony of guitar, percussion, vocals and other miscellaneous debris is a brave statement of intent that leaves the listener in little doubt as to the ride they are embarking on.  HoP seem to derive (and certainly convey) a great deal of pleasure out of create towering Faustian motorik constructs that collide and fuse with some bewildering forays into free-psychedelia.  In turns HoP is difficult, obtuse, translucent and bedevilling but throughout it is never less than enthralling.

Hearts Of Palm - Trance Nipple Manifestation
(Palmetto Space Label)
Hot new cut from US freeform trio of Dave Chamberlain, Mike Hancock & Jay Wilson. I was lucky enough to hear the music these guys make back last year (2008) when I got an earlier HOP release along with one by their French Crips alter-ego (which, if memory serves is a duo and much more industrial sounding). That earlier release was an intense Faustian exploration of guitar based improvisation and was enthusiastically praised. This new album continues where it’s predecessor left off and is about to be enthusiastically praised.
In the accompanying letter Jay mentions that TNM (not sure about that title) is a more cohesive and accurate representation of the HOP experience than album 1. I can’t comment on the latter but in regard to cohesion I can only agree.  There is a flow to the tracks that makes perfect sense.  Each is sonically different enough to warrant both their existence and their place on the album yet there is a unity of sound that means the album never feels forced or contrived.
Sonically, HOP operate at the industrial end of the free music spectrum. Their guitar, percussion and circuit bending tactics is an intense experience.  Their sound evokes a battle-like chaos.  There’s ebb and flow, confusion and distraction, cohesion & destruction all focused into the vice tight confines of short concise tracks. No rambling improv dialogues here. This is improv with a blissfully punk attitude that says ‘This is our music! Love it or leg it!’ Personally, I absolutely love it.

Hearts of Palm - Earth Headed Heart
(For Noises Sake)
An always welcome return from Cincinnati based experi-mentalists HOP who are here joined by C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core) on violin.  Unlike their previous recordings this is a solid 30 minute block of unadulterated improv.  It's noisy, chaotic, anarchic and fun.  HoP are very much of the Faustian school of improvising and build their music from hard edged shards of metallic scree. All good improvisation is introspective in that it is reliant on the participants being fully focussed on their part in the whole but HoP's brand doesn't promote introspection on the part of the listener, at least not in this listener. Instead it promotes big cheesy grins as one becomes gloriously ensnared in their multi-layered tangle of textures, instruments and sounds.

Hearts of Palm - Ball Glove Mask
I've got a love affair going on with Hearts of Palm.  It's long distance and utterly platonic. They don't call often and their website doesn't work - check it, you'll see - but occasionally, I get these little epistles.  Wonderful little eccentricities of sound that captivate and spin me around like a teenager with  crush.  Their Faustian oddities are never going to be to everyone's cup of tea  but 'everyone' is a fool cause it's amongst the best tea on the market.

Heart of Palm - Alles Zusammen
(Palm Meadow 005)
As they lose the plural from the first word of their name Heart of Palm re-emerge with a new album whose title translates as 'All Together' and finds them embarking on this new phase as a quartet (plus friends). 
The music, as ever, is delightfully obtuse.  Their Faustian assemblages are twisting absurdities of fun and frolics, a beautifully chaotic mash of guitar, percussion, electronics and samples.
I love Heart of Palm. 
(hartzofpom [AT] gmail.com)

Heart of Palm - Mayonnaise
(self released)
A very welcome return to Wonderful Wooden Reasons for our favourite Ohioan experimentalists HoP as they debut their new 5 piece lineup with the addition of a drummer and a keyboard player / circuit bender.  Musically, Faust -particularly the Irmler version - is always going to be your reference point for where HoP are coming from as they produce eclectic, improvised, psychoactive tangles filled with sudden shifts and churning ambiences.  The improvisations here are muscular, bordering on violent, punching their way off the CD and treating your woofers likes the dogs they are.  What makes HoP so enjoyable for me is that they almost entirely avoid the showboating that can sometimes spoil improvised (and indeed all) music as they always feel as though they are listening and responding  to each other and not just flailing. 
This sort of thing is never going to be to everyones taste but personally I love it and it is another fascinating step in the development of one of my favourite bands.

Jan Kees Helms - StringStrang two
(Ephre Imprint EPH11)
This is a very nice indeed set of low key drone pieces on the always reliable Ephre label out of the Netherlands.  Here they give us a glimpse of the work of one of their countrymen Jan Kees Helms.  I have very little information in front of me but apparently these tracks are single take guitar and field recordings and no overdubs.
It's pretty impressive stuff.  The music is, for the most part, gentle and introspective with occasional moments of angst rising up but there're also brief snatches of more tumultuous auras, especially on the opener. It's not the most intense of experiences being more of a journey through some nice scenery rather than a full immersion psychotropic mindfuck but the scenery is very nice indeed.
The production is a little hard edged for my tastes and robs the music of some of it's warmth but it's clean, clear and crisp.  My preference is for a little more haze in the production of drone pieces but I certainly can't fault him for the mix he's made.
Good, solid tangible drone work.  Well worth a listen.

Herzog - Waking Up Is Hard To Do
(Rural Colour rc044)
3" CDR
Nicely made little 4 track EP of lightly psychedelic ambient works from an artist I know absolutely nothing about and as my internet is currently dead I can't look him / her / them up either.
The music exists on the tuneful end of ambient; full of airy atmospheres, billowing tones and half melodies.  There's elements of Labradford, smatterings of Andrew Chalk and Mirror and a pinch of Eno all added to the mix to create something quite beautiful if a bit brief.

Hexathurz - Neptun Projection
First album from Norwegian photographer and musician Hexathurz. Neptun Projection is a glimpse into the darkest of universes lightened only by the briefest flashes of light.  Hexathurz conjures and holds the ambience beautifully.  Slow rhythms threaded through the music ensure that the flow of the drones tumble like water over rocks.  It has an industrial quality to it yet it still feels very natural and organic. Imagine an industrial revolution built from wood instead of iron.  A fine album.

Hexlove - Pija Z Bogiem
(Dreamsheep DS006)
As I was writing this review I noticed that it had the same catalogue number as the Ajilvsga album also released on Dreamsheep. Any notions of similarity between these two entities other than this apparent typo should be immediately escorted around the back of the building and quietly removed from the gene pool with a cattle bolt-gun - Thunk! - and then we can all forget about it.
Hexlove is Zac Nelson and it is the sound of his brain imploding.  The sheer range of sounds, techniques, tools and just plain old fashioned ideas that are thrown around over these two discs is bewildering.  From second to second it twists and turns between various rocks, hard-places, immovable objects and irresistible forces.  It’s ugly, absurd, annoying and a little bit irresistible.
I can’t describe it as it would take too long. I’m not even going to try.  In the wrong mood and at the wrong time it could possibly be the worst album I’ve ever heard. Conversely, in the right mood and at the right time…

Hinsidan - Shapeshifter Blues
(Suggestion Records, Verato Project sug051)
Danish duo of Atish Pare and Superjus have orchestrated a set of beautiful bombastic cosmic drones. It occasionally veers into noise territory but fortunately never stays there for too long as they have far more to say with their music than mere muscle can provide.  The recording is crystal clear and the music resonates with colour, tone and content.
A stunning release that all lovers of quality drone music should track down immediately.

Hinsidan - Bleach Dye Yr Heart
(Gears of Sand GOS32)
You'd think I'd have learned by now not to judge a CD by it's cover as it's often misleading but in this case the track titles didn't help - track one is called 'Slaughter of the Innocence, Slaughter of the Innocent' & track two is 'Vivisection of the Soul'.  These two, and other, really quite appallingly naff titles helped my second exposure to Hinsidan find itself falling through the pile of albums awaiting review for which I must apologise cause it's actually pretty good. 
The trio that make up the group employ a battery of mostly electronic instruments to produce a head stew of tone and drone ambience with occasional flurries of mellow Boards of Canada style electronica and even some singing - definitely not the albums high point. 
On the whole though Hinsidan is a very listenable set of tunes.  It's not the best thing I've heard recently (and it's certainly not the worst) as it never really managed to utterly absorb me into itself but it's found itself on my player several times in recent weeks and makes a very fine aural backdrop which after all is exactly the point of ambient music.

HL - Takuma / Fields That Speak
(No Ground-R ng-r10)
I'm more familiar with HL (Dan Hopkins) through his Eno-esque ambient work that I've reviewed previously in ECReviews so this sparse, minimalist and beat filled addition to his catalogue came as a real shock.  If you were to think of a chilled out Boards of Canada then you'd be close.  It's derived from Dan's love of Formula One racing and in particular the, slightly rubbish, Formula One driver Takuma Sato.  I like the irony of music this slow being inspired by a racing car driver but if he continues to inspire homages this good I hope he carries on driving for years.
Accompanying the album is a short (but nicely formed) DVD tribute to the Somerset Levels (in the South West of England) where Dan grew up.  In the film he is paying homage to the minutiae of the Levels. Indeed the more successful parts are those where he gets up close and personal with his subject using long static shots that force the viewer to examine the image.  It's at these points that the ambiguity of both the sounds and the images meld in the way that I suspect was HL's intention.  The music is sparse, minimalist, keyboard driven ambient perfectly suited to the mood of the film.  What is less successful are the longer shots which come across too much like holiday snaps,  their duration on the screen isn't justified by their composition.  Fortunately these are few and the rest is well worth this minor quibble.

Kasper van Hoek - Den Haag - Groningen - Froombosch
(Dirty Demos DirtyCDR 028)
6 pieces by Dutch sound manipulator van Hoek each named after the location the recordings were made between May 2007 and January 2008.  Throughout the recordings you can clearly hear the source sounds which have either been subsequently or simultaneously processed and manipulated.  There's much to like here as a tumult of sounds race past each tumbling over the other.  Which however is also it's main weakness as the music never really allows itself to be listened to.  Almost as soon as your attention is attracted by an intriguing sound or idea it's gone, lost amidst the torrent. I found it's restlessness to be contagious meaning each time I listened to it I soon found myself being distracted by the things around me rather than being fully absorbed by the music. 
This is definitely worth a listen due to it's scope and it's execution (it's beautifully mixed) but is particularly recommended to those whose preference is for the noisy and the abstract.

Kaspar Van Hoek ft Jan Klug & Jan Kees Helms / Strangstring - Waiting is a Linear Time Machine Without Parts (Four Live Pieces)
(Heilskabaal Records HK020)
Leaving aside that really rather naff album title this is a rather intriguing set of collaborations.
There is a slight homogeneity to the four tracks (two collabs with Helms, one with Klug & a solo piece) but I suspect that is derived from a commonality of intent rather than a dearth of ideas.
Musically what we have is a tangle of sounds producing a deliciously alien set of vistas.  The core of each track is derived from Van Hoek's custom built string instruments.  Over these are layered an array of grinding, droning, shimmering & sputtering textures.
It's a really very diverting album.  It opens in the most deceptively ambient of ways but soon begins to insist on your attention and it's an insistence that's well justified.

The Hogweed & the AdEryn - same
(Wounded Wolf)
The H&theA are a Turkish duo of Gozde Omay & Atay Ilgun who produce a very nice, slightly off kilter folk music.  There's a distinctly 'eastern' vibe to the proceedings brought out through the percussion and some of the instrumentation choices but what pervades the whole is a warped, psychedelic shoegazery mien that fills the music with smoke and colour.
As modern outsider folk goes this could almost be described as being compositionally maybe a bit 'safe' but that would be unfair as it's songs, rather than experimentation, that are obviously the focus here and while it does retain a fairly traditional character it really is quite fabulous.

Hollowing + Maor Appelbaum - Collaborating Torture
(Heart & Crossbone HCB-017 + Topheth Prophet TP-016)
A darker than the darkest dark bit of a really dark night dark-ambient collaboration from Israeli musician Appelbaum and his US compatriot Matt (Hollowing) Gibney. Collaborating Torture is a monolithic glacier of sound slowly grinding everything in it's path to dust.  There isn't the remotest iota of relief or release present in this music.  It doesn't rest, veer or retreat in it's inexorable advance.  Those with the darkest (of dark) appetites will love this.

Homework - Monopoly
(Q-Tone hw03)
Every now and again a cd turns up on my doormat that straddles the whole gamut of styles of music that float my boat. Homework's Monopoly accomplishes this and does so with ease and aplomb.  I've no idea how many members there are or even the full range of instruments on display (piano, drums and bass seem to play the largest part) but one person or many it matters nothing as it's the music that counts and the music is wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
CD 1 is probably the most impressive piece of work being one long 60 minute meandering journey through the heart of Homework's music.  Never once feeling lost or as though the participants are flailing for ideas or direction, it rolls through it's myriad changes  playing games with ambience, melody and expectations.
CD 2 with it's three distinct tracks is the more open and inviting listen. Each brings something (often several somethings) different to the table but presented together the create a divine melange of aural delights.  Track 1's opening of rolling and overlapping almost Feldman-esque piano lines that slowly transform into the warm embrace of the unhurried melodies of it's second half.  The flickering, barely there noises of track 2 and it's emerging bowed bass and piano stabs that are almost washed away in the rainstorms of sound that occasionally burst through.  Whereas track 3 arrives in a tangle of rhythm and a sub funk piano skronk with keyboard drone..
The one characteristic of the music that it is possible to pin down is it's willingness to change.  It segues effortlessly between drone, jazz, lounge drum 'n' bass (and more) and between wilful experimentation and sumptuous tunesmithery. It really is a most fantastic album and one that'll be dominating my CD player for a long time to come.

Homogenized Terrestrials - The Contaminists
(Intangible Cat cat16)
Another in a set of really rather lovely discs from the Intangible Cat label.  This album featured a baker's dozen of tracks featuring a distinct predilection for the old days of the UK post-industrial underground. 
Gently ritualistic soundscapes that meld organic instruments with synthetic.  Guttural drones mix with chiming bells whilst choral chants roll under abrasive scuffs.
It's quite lovely and with a wistful sort of ambience that perfectly suits the cover art of flowers and bees; with each of the two aspects bringing to mind different characteristics of the music.

Tetsuya Hori - Dried Fish is Just Good As Bait
(Aphonia Recordings AR041CD)
If I start off this review of an album of music made using voice, cigar box, piano, rubber bands and face (?) by telling you that I utterly, and I really do mean utterly, detest experimental vocal work then you'll understand how difficult I found much of this album to listen to.  I find the sort of pointless yelping, burbling and trilling that characterises this form to be hackneyed beyond all hope of redemption.  As such my initial instinct was to write this album off altogether but I persevered and behind, around and happily, occasionally, in front of the squeaks and squawks are some very nice rolling, soundscapes, particularly on the second track, Intermezzo.  I'm not sure if it redeems the album for me but I've certainly found myself often digging out the disc and playing this one particular track.

Hourglass Drops vs. Norss - Stella
Nice, limited edition dark ambient release by these two artists.  Hourglass Drops providing the first 5 tracks and Norss the sixth although time-wise that's about an equal split.  Both outfits take a refreshingly varied approach to the noise they make. All 5 of HD's tracks make use of an individual palette of sounds many eschewing the usual overly processed sounds and generally keeping the tones clean, clear and direct.  Some of the tracks are missing a little colour (track 3) and end up sounding a little dull but others are a psychedelic swirl of the stuff (track 4).
Norss takes the slowly evolving longform route and do it pretty well indeed.  They are also operating at the more domineering end of the spectrum, this isn't the most ambient of ambient music.  The piece does suffer a little from slightly muddy mix but that clears up a little over the course of the track with the sounds gradually becoming clearer as the composition moves along it's way.
If you're a fan of the genre then this is definitely worth checking out.

Hreda - Minnows
(Ingue Records)
2 track 7" singkle from Oxford based trio of vaguely mathy post-rock instrumsntals.  Previous reviews comparing them to the wonderful Explosions In The Sky are, I think, a little overly generous and also do a disservice to Hreda.  Their sound is missing the majesty and grandeur of EITS but instead displays a technical expertise and a groove all their own.  There is a much more metallic and, dare I say, prog heart to Hreda.  The music is occasionally a little too busy for my tastes but with the changes coming thick and fast you only have to wait a couple of seconds before the tune is off in another direction. 
Naturally, being a 7" single (or in my case a promo cdr) there is only 11 and a half minutes of music on here but it is 11 and a half minutes well spent that leaves you wanting more but until the album appears I recommend picking a copy of this up and listening to it on repeat. 
Another quality release from Ingue Records.

H2S - 4th Mutation
(CREAMcropzine 2006O)
An anthology of tracks dating from 1994 to 2006 of keyboard driven industrial music by H2S 's Fabio Degiorgi.  Only the first 4 tracks on this CD date from the 90's and they suffer greatly from the use of, what is now, a really dated drum machine sound.  These early tracks feel more like sketches or segments of larger works than complete tracks in their own right.  But the production is crisp and clean and if the more beat oriented end of the industrial spectrum is your bag then these are competently assembled.
The album doesn't truly begin to take shape until track 6 as 2003 saw a shift towards more drone oriented work.  The beats are still there but are less overt allowing the music the freedom of not marching along to a metronome.  Occasionally Degiorgi lapses into his old ways which does slightly sour the end of the album but generally the later tracks are an interesting excursion into the realms of noise drone.

Mat Hughes - Voyager: Audio Log
Occasionally I get albums that arrive with an accompanying sheet of A4 paper that outlines some half-baked concept that supposedly lies behind the music.  Over time I've learned to sigh, scrumple up the bit of paper, toss it in the bin and let the music speak for itself.
Hughes makes music that floats and swirls.  He balances complementary tones with needlepoint precision before throwing successive cascades of hissing and twitching noise at them making the whole thing swirl and swoop.  Hughes is unafraid to alter and play with the ambience he is creating, manipulating the sounds to forge a creation that is, at times, nothing short of mesmerising.

Hurra Caine Landcrash - Moving
(No Ground-R ng-r06)
Hurra Caine Landcrash, or Dan Hopkins as he's known to his mum, returns to my seedy player for the first time away from his guise as one third of, sadly departed, Welsh ambient wibblers Know Point.  Subtle drones and vague beats writhe around bursts of guitar and half-formed melodies.  As the title suggests this album is anything but static but don't expect to hear any of this on a drivetime compilation any time soon this is much more of a Sunday morning stroll through the woods.  Slow is definitely the order of the day as Dan morphs Eno-esque keyboard lines with pulsating bass frequencies to create a custom landscape for moving through.  On Moving HL has produced music that is both epic in scope and intimate in nature. 

Hurra Caine Landcrash - Unanswered Questions
(Split Femur Recordings SFR007)
I've been a fan of Dan Hopkins' music for a few years now. As part of Know Point, as Hurra Caine Landcrash and as HL, Dan works at the ambient end of the slow music spectrum. His music often puts me in mind of Boards of Canada just without those pesky beats getting in the way.
Guitar has always had a strong role in Dan's projects but on 'Unanswered Questions' it takes centre-stage. Early indications are not good as album opener 'Soul' suffers from a horrible mix that buries the music in a sea of gloop.  Fortunately it's also the shortest track on what subsequently opens up into a sumptuous and absorbing recording characterised by the slow moving flow of the guitar's misshapen melodies and the fluttering micro-sounds that garnish each track. In parts this recording brings to mind Fennesz in others it is the work of melodic abstractionists like the above mentioned BoC. Throughout though (with the notable exception of track 1) this is a fine addition to the Hurra Caine Landcrash discography.


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