Antonymes meets Slow Dancing Society: We Don't Look back For Very Long
Hidden Shoal

Here's an inspired concept that will no doubt have ambient devotees and Hidden Shoal fans salivating: We Don't Look back For Very Long is the sound of artist Antonymes (Ian M. Hazeldine, whose The Licence To Interpet Dreams was released by Hidden Shoal in 2011) reworking one track each from the four albums Slow Dancing Society (Washington-based Drew Sullivan) has issued on the Australia-based label (The Sound Of Lights When Dim, The Slow and Steady Winter, Priest Lake Circa '88, Under The Sodium Lights). In essence, the recording seamlessly weds the neo-classical leanings of Antonymes to the luscious atmospheric soundsculpting specialized in by Slow Dancing Society, resulting in close to thirty minutes of ambient-classical splendour.

The framing tracks “The Grey Sea and the Long Black Land” and “A Feeling of Being Closer” embed stately and ruminative pianistics, respectively, within stirring electronic backdrops. Though both pieces are strong, the latter setting in particular exerts a powerful impact on account of its time-suspending properties and its electroacoustic serenity. There's a dusty quality to some of the material, too, with time-weathered sonic details imbuing the pieces with nostalgic character, whether it comes from a creaky voice sample in “As If Viewed From a Distance” or the quiet whirr of a film projector at the start of “That Moment.” The overall tone of the EP is melancholy and wistful, and the overall musical character stately and refined. Adding to the release's allure is its presentation: custom-made by Hazeldine, the CD arrives within a hand-numbered letterpress package (available in an edition of 100) that shows as much care and attention to detail as the music itself.

November 2011