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Mountains - Choral (Thrill Jockey)

26 February 2009

Reading some of the press for this duo is hilarious as writers try to come up with comparisons for music that’s too original to admit obvious analogs (though some moments suggest Eno, they are fleeting).

On their fourth album together, KOEN HOLTKAMP and BRENDON ANDEREGG construct sonic landscapes that mix their anti-virtuoso/timbre-focused playing of musical instruments, field recordings, and electronic treatments. Light and airy sounds sometimes stay that way but more often are layered via loops into dense interweavings of highly textured music in which long melodies can be heard by listeners with patience and focus.

This, I think, is what the album title refers to: the most similar effect is achieved not in comparable electronic music, but in medieval choir works that have a theme buried in the longest notes. The results, while quite varied, always rise above mere ambiance to extremely artistic evocations of piquant moods.