‘Chiltern’ is the debut LP release of Melbourne based two piece Hour House (aka Mark Leacy and Sam Kenna, previously of Newcastle based band Castings. Using electronic instruments, samples, field recordings, guitars and vocals the duo have drawn inspiration from their strange new surroundings to create disorienting comforting atmospheric soundscapes.
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- Chiltern by Hour House
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 07 August 2015
Like the mighty steel locomotives that soar through glorious Kidderminster, Chiltern both whirrs and glistens, chugging its way from the two music-makers’ hometown of Newcastle (AUS, I think) to Melbourne, their new base. Mark Leacy and Sam Kenna were in a band called Castings, who didn’t seem to reach that far before evaporating leaving only a tiny digital footprint despite apparently making a lot of noise racket.
Hour House isn’t quite as noisy as that sounded, with an emphasis on hovering ambient electronic melody, found atmospherics and echoes of guitars, voice, all tied together in a loose, constant stream-of-consciousness. For minutes-long bits, it gets stuck in strange whirling loop-worlds upon which anything can fall, to quote Super Hans, “a pill, a nipple, a bitta fried halloumi, lovely”. Drones thrum momentarily amid various rustles, hinting at familiar instruments and environments such as harps, cellos, river sides, car parks, your guess is as good as mine. It kinda reminds me of Raica’s Dose in a way - weird semi-melodic electronics meeting collected noises within ambient arrangements, and just the right amount of spook. Oh, and it’s good too.
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