Hivernant by Human Greed

Human Greed is a collaboration between sound artist Michael Begg and painter Deryk Thomas. Hivernant is described as a “political statement” in the press release but Begg admits that he doesn’t know what that statement is trying to say. Well, the sounds on the album create great expanses and are both restrained but also epic in how they play to a soundtrack type of aesthetic. Some blissed out sound.

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Hivernant by Human Greed
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7/10 Jim 29 June 2015

Human Greed is the cheerily titled project of Michael Begg (also of Fovea Hex) and the artist Deryk Thomas (the guy who painted those Swans and Angels of Light covers with strange cutesy animals doing nasty things). It’s an album of some of the chilliest, most haunting ambient music I’ve heard in a while; which isn’t surprising given its themes of hibernation and retreat. The songs almost drift imperceptibly into being, building from faint drones or quiet field recordings and just tainting the atmosphere.

There are obvious nods to Arvo Pärt (‘Da Pacem’) in some of the arrangements and the simplicity of the melodic motifs. But my favourite track is the spooky vocal and subtle chiming dissonances of ‘Psalom’, a real chiller that feels out of place on this bright summer afternoon. The tracks shift from light to dark and back with a kind of organic naturalism, like the changing light on windy day. And even when you get blissed-out piano interludes, as on ‘Pastorale’, there’s usually some weird processed electronics lurking somewhere, lending an undercurrent of darkness to proceedings. It’s not a particularly ground-breaking record but it’s confident subtlety will appeal to lovers of deep and moody cinematic ambiance.



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