A wonderfully evocative album from Pennine duo Katie English and Jonathan Lees. You'll perhaps know Katie from Isnaj Dui and you'll know Jonathan if you've bought records on the Hibernate label which he has run for many years. The album is based around meditative drones using harmonium and squeeze boxes topped off with a myriad of twinkles and plucks. It has an exotic, eastern flavour (despite being made in Halifax) and is a warmly immersive listen. This extremely limited edition release comes with a bonus Cd of remixes from the likes of Memory Drawings, Isan, Wil Bolton and many more.
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- HB60 / Double CD edition of 100 from Isnaj Dui/Hibernate folks with remixes from Memory Drawings, Isan, Wil Bolton
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Hibernate, the winter scarf of drone labels, continue to fend off nature’s cold bite with this gorgeously comforting record. ‘All Similarities & Technical Difficulties End Here’ is minimalist but sounds maximal, enveloping its listeners into creased harmonium drones, lightly sprinkled with the sounds of life: dogs barking, people chatting and xylophones twinkling are all reminders of Hibernate’s wonderful affection for homes and places.
You can hear the juxtaposition of the two sides of winter -- the cold and the warm -- played out in these songs. “Cold Wind On Erringden Moor” samples a brutish gale force but interpolates it with piano notes played absentmindedly, like someone tinkering away in the corner of a living room. It’s like being in the house and shut outside at the same time. The two sounds couldn’t be any more different: one is raw and immaterial, the other a soft composition.
Jonathan Lees and Katie English have made the kind of record that inspects and scrutinises every aspect of its landscape, with different instruments used for different parts, the record switching into a combination of slight plucks and whirring electronic drone on “Gusenitsa”, before purveying with ominous marching harmonium on “Of the Field Beyond”. This record can turn fears into tranquility in a heartbeat; it’s as if they were the ancestors of Natural Snow Buildings, but loving a different slab of countryside. Look out, too, for the bonus CD of remix material, in which familiar Hibernate family members turn these special sounds spectral.
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