A Sun-Amissa: Beneath the Heavy Tides

Arev Konn: Norbotten

Hibernate continues its Postcard Series with its next pair of three-inch releases (the thirteenth and fourteenth, for those keeping score), with each of them prepared in a numbered and limited edition run of 100 copies (sold out already, apparently).

If the name Arev Konn isn't immediately familiar, the name of the London-based musician behind it, Antony Harrison, might be, given that he's previously issued material under the Konntinent and Paco Sala aliases on labels such as Home Normal, Digitalis, and Sonic Pieces. The seventeen-minute Norbotten presents three, low-key exercises in electroacoustic experimentation that have a relaxed and homemade feel about them, as if the listener is sitting alongside Harrison while he goes about his explorative business. The heavily processed meditation “Starets” immerses piano treatments and chords within a molasses-like bath of hiss and vinyl crackle, while a wavering electronic drone hovers and warbles nearby. “Third & Inches,” on the other hand, begins to sound like an Arev Konn-Philip Jeck collaboration when woozy vinyl samples of strings rubs shoulders with piano playing and electronic fuzz and sputter.

A Sun-Amissa likewise might be a name new to listeners, but the pair involved in the project, Richard Knox and Angela Chan, bring impressive sets of credentials to their nineteen-minute Beneath the Heavy Tides. Knox is one-half of Glissando, an occasional live member of Sleepingdog, and a recent collaborator with FareWell Poetry's Frederic D. Oberland on The Rustle of the Stars; also Leeds, UK-based, Chan has been a live and recording member of Glissando for the past year. Of the two pieces on the EP, it's “Hexe” that's the dominant one. Over the course of fourteen minutes, the piece brings into being a clandestine sound-world of scrapes and creaks that plays like a sonic transcription of an Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft story at its creepiest. Though brief by comparison, the also-unsettling “Promise of the Loss of Self” identifies itself as the more conventionally musical of the two pieces due to the ghostly cello playing that emerges alongside the piece's atmospheric colourations. Oppressive and disturbing, the EP material plunges deeply into its torture chamber, sounding more like the kind of unearthly gloomscaping we tend to associate with Miasmah rather than Hibernate.

January 2012