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With Valanx’s The Towering Pillars the Shimmering Moods label continue releasing artists who blur the distinctions of drone and ambient, electronic and acoustic. This CD, with handmade cover, strikes a darker tone than many contemporaries and pushes into dank, industrial zones. The music is dense and downcast; a bleak and often beautiful collection.  v

CD £12.49 SHM CD018

CD on Shimmering Moods. Edition of 50 hand-numbered copies in handmade covers.

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The Towering Pillars by Valanx
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7/10 Jamie Staff review, 16 February 2016

Valanx (Arne to his mum) delivers nine tracks - or monolithic sound sculptures if you like - of such dense and cavernous construction that it's sometimes very hard to imagine anything penetrating at all. Certainly not light.

There is, however, something soothing about the claustrophobic nature of these excavations. You could feel very safe ensconced within, given time and plenty of baked goods to see you through.  It's another strand on the ever-reliable string (web?) of releases on Shimmering Moods. It does all the things you would expect of the description, even exceeding that promise with a bit of shuddering and quaking for an even more grounding experience.  Sounds of (hopefully) distant creatures moan and beckon at you, unseen in the gloom of the murky depths.  You may come to a shallow pool if you venture further for a quick stop of crystalline refreshment. It's a brief moment of respite.  It soon becomes apparent that the early promise of sleep was a lull before the scratchy sounds of your subconscious jolt you into the realisation that you must, at all counts, remain awake and aware.  But somehow you are drawn inexorably onward. The sound of a disembodied voice floats just ahead of you, urging you to "go towards the light."

So here you are. Perhaps you are here to seek the atonement which will ultimately bring peace. Perhaps you are here to encounter other entombed souls. Perhaps you are simply here. I'm just looking forward to the next part of Icelandic drama "Trapped". Which seems appropriate.



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