Ambient artist Kryshe returns to Welsh imprint Serein (Hauschke, Hidden Rivers) to release new disc Hauch. The tracks here are spiralling vistas of sound drawn largely from guitar, keys and voice. Occasionally an instrument will cut clearly through the dense textures - see the saxophone meditation that makes Hauch’s title track. Lovely stuff.
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One of the reasons I enjoy playing music so much is because for however long I’m doing it, I’m away from a screen. Devices can be wonderful, don’t worry I’m not going where you think, but for me, they contain too many possibilities to allow my mind to settle and focus. In the middle of reading something I’ll start replying to a message in one app, and then another, and maybe I’ll start playing some music for good measure before I blink and wonder what exactly I was doing in the first place.
All credit to Christian Grothe of Kryshe then for being able to make an album so meditative and single-minded as Hauch using, of all things, an iPad. We are probably very lucky to live in an age where a significant proportion of people in the world have something with a microphone and audio editing tools in the pocket at all times (ignore the privacy concerns for a moment…) because it obliterates any barrier between wanting to record something, and being able to.
And listening to Hauch, it seems Grothe really wanted to record contemplative ambient loops for the night shift. Though the tracks are brittle and earthy, there’s a new-age quality about them that is truly calming. They are joined by instruments; sax on ‘Hauch’, trumpet on ‘Luftsplat’, piano of ‘Auflosung’, that use the loop as a foundation from which to soar. Sometimes they drift out of sight into the clouds, only to reemerge with renewed intent.
Hauch is an album that is wonderfully thoughtful and plaintive and so many other things that an iPad is not.
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