Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Loving three recent releases from Hibernate Recordings

I have grown to really cherish the music that Hibernate puts out. Hibernate is a micro-label from Halifax in Northern England that specialises in releasing the most heartbreakingly beautiful ambient music. Run by Jonathan, they focus on more electroacoustic, glitchy sound-sculptures and feature such ambient heavyweights as Will Bolton, The Inventors of Aircraft, and Danny Clay (who featured in a wee interview last year ) on their roster.

Hibernate have three current releases that are worthy of your attention:

First off is "Ganymede" by Danny Clay. Clay is a musician whose previous output has struck a chord with me. He takes a very relaxed yet deliberate approach to his craft, creating soundscapes with depth and imagination. According to the release notes, "Ganymede" was created entirely from the opening bars of a Schubert art song, "Ganymed" based on a text by Goethe. In the poem, the speaker becomes profoundly allured by the beauty of God as manifested in the emergence of spring.

The notes go to to describe what Schubert's Ganymed means to Clay: it sits at a strange intersection between innocence and loss, childhood and maturity, the beautiful and the sinister.

I can't think of a better description for this release: one that sits in the intersection of innocence and loss, childhood and maturity, the beautiful and the sinister. It is in this juxtaposition, this uncertainty, that the music comes to life. Glitchy pops and foundsounds interact with divine melody to form something entrancing. I found "Ganymede" to be wondrously hypnotic: music to escape to, a destination for the times I needed to feel both what has been and what can be.

Danny Clay has done it again, he has created something of worth & I commend you to check it out.

Federico Durrand is a new name to me. His album  - "Música para Manuel" - is a series of five tracks that vary in length from over 13 minutes to under 3, five magical expressions that captivate and entrance the listener with their sounds and their silence. Durrand has managed to capture the essence of Brian Eno's early ambient work by focussing as much of the gaps in the sound as much as the sounds themselves. I, for one, am mesmerised by his ability to do this. Drones and motifs derived from found-sounds and glichy pops are present but they presented in the most delicate and gentle manner. In fact it is the unweathered, unhurried elegance of the music that captivates me the most. This is music for a summer's day, where warmth and beauty surround and inspire.

I was certainly inspired by "Música para Manuel" and commend Federico Durrand to you.

The last release I wish to consider is something completely different from the first two but yet somehow in keeping: "Through the Winter Woods" by Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli. It features three drone-based tracks that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The opening track - “hollow” - is an exhilarating journey with a decidely euphoric climax, it is a track I thoroughly enjoyed and one that will find it's way onto a circumambient mix in due course (with Jonathan’s permission, of course). The remainder of the EP - “Fractal” and “Disappeared Stratum” - is similarly euphoric. Big, open soundscapes are presented with walls of sound that simply enthralled me.

I'm not one for noise but in the context of this EP, in the manner it is presented, it just works - Tegh & Kamyar Tavakoli use noise almost as another instrument, instead of having frantic, shoegazy guitars... they use noise and use it very well. "Through the Winter Woods" is an excellent EP that left me wanting more from the partnership.

Hibernate are one of the most exciting micro-labels around and sit strongly in comparison with their peers: labels likes of Twice Removed, SOFT and Elian Rec. I look forward to hearing more from them and hopefully getting to know Jonathan that bit better.



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