Silencia is the final part of a trilogy of albums by Hammock. The Nashville post-rock / ambient duo say that the arc of the trilogy, which also includes the albums, Mysterium and Universalis, takes inspiration from the music of Arvo Part and Georgy Sviridov and the writing of American poet Li Young Li. Their work finds healing in silence, and that’s what Hammock have done here. The duo’s guitars are backed by droning horns, strings and the 20-strong Budapest Art Choir.
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Nashville duo Hammock have finally released their 10th LP and, inevitably, the final third of their trilogy (following on from 'Mysterium' and 'Universalis'). I was on the verge just then of detecting a linguistic theme because, you know, doesn’t everyone dig Latin? Right? But here, here is ‘Silencia’ which I think is Spanish or something and basically says -- whispers -- Hush, Now. Enough of your life story, OK?
And yes, it is somewhat of a muted start. The usual in favour portentous post-rock drones give way to lighter strands of strings which build steadily, stealthily, steadfastly; deceptively so. Every nuance, every note, every string stretched taught to the brink of calamity; all giving the impression of a choir just about to break into song. And then, and we’re on track 4 now, when the chorus of the 20-strong Budapest Art Choir finally emerges… It’s a release, of sorts. But it’s temporary. Like all the best music, yes like life even, this is transitory, ephemeral stuff; it just has the illusion of lasting a long, long time. Even with a total running length of well over an hour.
High tension and very, very subtle release is what these guys do -- and they do it so well, so gloriously, stratosphere-scalingly, silkily-smoothly well. It’s very good. It’s very moving. It’s like listening to... part Arvo Pärt, part Sigur Ros when slowed by 800%, like you may have seen on the internet videos or somesuch. With track titles like ‘When It Hurts To Remember’, ‘Afraid To Forget’ and ‘We Try To Make Sense of it All’ (which -- spoiler alert by the way -- is a sad piece of music), you see a narrative thread emerging. Wonderfully, life-affirmingly mournful music. Their best yet? It’s certainly possible, yes.
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