Hintermass is the duo project of The Advisory Circle’s Jon Brooks and Tim Felton of Broadcast. In appropriate Ghost Box style, they slink around they combine sweet melodic song with uncanny electronic touches: komische was a particularly strong influence here. The Apple Tree, their first album in 5 years, is out on Ghost Box.
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Jon Brooks (the Advisory Circle) and Tim from Broadcast/Seeland - aka Hintermass - have released their first actual LP. It has apparently been over four years since their single came out on lovely, timewarpy-designy/retro-futurey /evocative-of-memories-we-never-really-had Ghost Box.
The title track leads the album and it features Tim's surprisingly rich and warm vocal, bearing comparison here to Gruff Rhys... with a soupcon of Richard Hawley in there somewhere. The album is full of lovely fuzzy synth and a bit of guitar twangyness as well as that voice. Which sounds more of a 'Hawley' on track three, "From Leaving in Meaning" - must be the vintage Gibson twang wot made me think that. Some heartwarming Boards of Canada dustiness courtesy of Brooks is the perfect backdrop on what is a gorgeous song, as it happens. BoC and a bit of Ash-ra Tempel kosmiche entwine perfectly in the little details and the instrumental sketches between the 70s-informed psychedelic folkiness.
Hazy acoustic instrumentation and spacey (60s) synth combine - Jon Brooks really has some production chops, hey! - forming a soft, sumptuous bed on which Tim can rest his effortless chanson, on "While Away". There's always just the right amount of edge to distinguish this from cocktail lounge.
"Patterns Somewhere" on side two is all childlike wonder yet I detect a feeling of jadedness; I don't know how they do it. Pretty, twinkling melodiousness courtesy of Jon's acoustic guitar, synth, and is that a toy xylophone? Probably; in happy, sleepy harmony with Tim's mellifluous dulcets. "Electric Hintermass (Sound Apart)" is a Broadcast-y, OMD-like instrumental. "Weicher" sees the happy return of Tim's voice set against spacey mellotron-y synth and echoey twang and is yet another pretty, haunting little lullaby. There's another miniature kosmiche interlude before they haunt and the balm one last time on "Uncertain". We surf our final silver sine wave and float away to the featherlight caresses of "Luftglider". I enjoyed that trip.
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- The Apple Tree by Hintermass
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