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Sontag Shogun create lovely chilling pieces of piano based neo-classical music but fill them to the brim with found sounds, snatches of dialogue and field recordings. The opening title track is a beautiful piece of piano bliss, a simple recurring motif that recalls the sweetness of Max Richter or Dustin O’Halloran but crucially the group add droney violin type sounds, washes of fuzz and carefully cut up voice samples which give the music a thrilling air.
‘Hungarian Wheat’ starts with a bank of sampled dialogue before a sugar sweet piano picks uneasily through the debris. ‘Let The Flies In’ features vocals and comes across like a moody, modern take on those This Mortal Coil tracks which feature Gordon Sharp. In fact Sharp’s Cindytalk are a possible reference point here, disconcerting electro-acoustic pieces, sometimes with unsettling samples and dialogue which stops the piano pieces becoming too saccharine. Some later tracks eschew the piano more in favour of more electronic buzzes and flutters and at times come across like eerie synth soundtracks of the '70's and 80's.
Original and extremely well realised, the palette of sounds and juxtaposition of ideas is at times mesmerising. Well worth investigation.
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