The final album from London-based Paco Sala under the Konntinent moniker. Empire Line is a richly textured piece of electronic ambience. Imagine if Wolfgang Voigt dissected and regurgitated a Nils Frahm record. Features vocals from Cuushe, Chantal Acda and Lisa Beth Madisson. Out on CD from Home Normal.
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It looked like that was gonna be it for Anthony Harrison’s Konntinent project. After a supposedly a final ambient peep in 2012, his new project Paco Sala would replace yesterday’s mournful tones, the original follow up to Opal Island shelved and sentiment left at the door.
Having something as pleasant as this burning a hole in your musical granary must have been largely impossible. Fragile and with a lingering storminess, The Empire Line doesn’t just exist as a heartfelt farewell, it’s a celebration of the good that can come from resurrecting something of value. Harrison’s ensemble is as elaborate as ever but quite stately, featuring a multitude of electronic and processed guitar layers, soft vocals, piano, Katie English’s flute skills and cello. Some of Harrison’s layers bubble up sporadically, others steadily brood in the corner or pulse away with a clock’s tick, mostly always conjuring the sound of solace.
The Empire Line is just as harmonically rich as it is peppered with sample fragments, forming a definite but evolving texture and leaving ample room for Harrison to mess with structure and timbre within a delicious organic context. And it really is delicious, so just sit down, make yourself comfortable and get lost in this.
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