Looping acoustic instruments and ethereal pads to create infinitely deep acoustic canyons, Visionary Hours takes a slow and well-considered approach to music. Sounding like a more introspective Hammock, Footfalls Echo is a trip through a forest, where the sound of your feet come bouncing back with a remote determination off unseen walls.
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All these Preserved Sound releases to choose from and I get the album by the label boss. Well luckily I don't have to pretend to like it as it's a lovely varied work of ambience which uses differing instruments to create a shifting mood of evocative stillness. Each track uses a different concoction of instruments to create the same sense of wistfulness. Opener 'The Stillness of Violins' uses violins (natch) to create a soothing soundscape whilst 'Reaches int Silence' does the same but is led by woodwind instruments. The reverb and delay that stretches across these pieces continues into 'Nether From Nor Towards' where a melody is picked out by a set of twin guitars.
I don't know whether knowing that the label and artists hometown is Hebden Bridge is influencing me somewhat here but these pieces often sound like a creepy and unsettling soundtrack to the dramatic landscape of the Calder Valley. The way the sun plays on the crouching towns or the way it has a ragged, wild feel as you reach the peaks. The record straddles a line between soothing and unsettling and is a good document of ways to produce different shades of ambience.
Original review from Laurie back in 2015 which we somehow didn't notice.
Well, isn’t this lovely. The down-to-earth ambient folk at Hibernate have uncovered a gem in the form of Hayden Berry, a Yorkshireman-turned-Krakowdweller who loves tape and acoustic instruments. They say that once a Yorkshireman, always a Yorkshireman, but when confronted with the beauty of Krakow, you realise that it’s probably better, not least as a source of artistic inspiration but also because ‘God’s Country’ is completely interchangeable.
Footfalls Echo tracks progress through an organic green space, featuring violins, guitars, clarinets and what have you played honest and clear with various drifty backdrops, all conjured from tape fetishism which is fine by me, the music calls for it. The ghostly trails of flutes tell tales of loneliness and guitars convey comfort. Stretched versions of instruments rise up strange and beautiful, it is exactly as you’d expect from Hibernate but with that enclosing warmth hinting at the sublime. Acoustic ambient for the cosy.
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