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Koen Holtkamp of Mountains notoreity has a new solo album out this week, with the CD version coming with a bonus disc 'Connected Works' compiling all of Holtkamp's vinyl-only releases. 'Motion' itself is a six-track suite which, like his aforementioned duo, has more than a slight kosmische flavour.   The tracks all centre around weightless layers of looped synth twinkle and softly sliding d ...

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2CD on Thrill Jockey inc. 'Connected Works' disc.

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REVIEWS

Motion by Koen Holtkamp
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Mike Staff review, 20 March 2014
Koen Holtkamp of Mountains notoreity has a new solo album out this week, with the CD version coming with a bonus disc 'Connected Works' compiling all of Holtkamp's vinyl-only releases. 'Motion' itself is a six-track suite which, like his aforementioned duo, has more than a slight kosmische flavour.   The tracks all centre around weightless layers of looped synth twinkle and softly sliding drones, into which some subtle woody bass plucking or searingly distorted wisps of Emeralds-esque guitar are tastefully slotted. It's quite an uplifting and hypnotic deep space soup with the drones and spiralling bleeps repeatedly lulling me into a trance while I'm supposed to be reviewing.   Things do get darker in the second half of the album, with fourth track 'Battenkill' centring around a modulating buzzy drone and jittery high pitched synth loops along with some swooshes and flickers in the super high frequencies like bubbles popping in your brain. Even this deep space darkness eventually becomes soothing, though, at which point he throws in a tasty lilting little melodic loop of warm, syrupy synth and some celestial twinkles and the pieces finally fit together into a vibrant patchwork of bleeps and flickers and crunching electric guitar that's darkly seductive and dizzyingly inviting.    The mood does generally seem a bit more thoughtful and tense through the second half than the first, like he's tempting you in with soothing delights and then teasing your brain into paranoia and confusion. Holtkamp is a master at manipulating the listener through subtly shifting layers of almost chaotic-sounding ambience, and there's never a dull moment here. It's ambitious and intricate and mysterious work that'll take me a few more listens to properly get my head around. Mega relaxing deeply layered synth ambience.

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