Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Venn Rain - Humming Hills (GoldTimers Tapes, 2011)

Venn Rain’s Humming Hills is an all-analog, New Age-like relaxation float among lo-fi drones and warm tape hiss. “Foreign Body” takes up the entirety of side A and revolves around a simple synthesizer motif, reverbed and delayed into near oblivion (or, oblission?) throughout the course of the track. There is little variations, with more bassy vibrations kicking in every now and then, which only adds to the hypnotic/hypnautic haze. The whole thing rises and falls like a carefully programmed, tireless tide (or, indeed, like humming hills: representing the primordial rhythm of the pre-human times).
The tracks on side B follow the same formula: “Velvet Trees” revolves around a similar and exhaustingly simple synthesizer loop with a gradually rising buzzing electric guitar-like drone living its own life and creating its own snaking melodies around the pillars of pulsating, shimmering sound. The last track, “Object Daze”, feels a little less constraint then the previous tracks, creating a wider, more spacious ambience, still incredibly delayed and reverbed, but now less locked into a synth loop repeating every few seconds. The waves come and go and the spark-like high notes create a beautuful melody somewhere in the distance. Despite the electronic equipment used, the music feels (maybe because of the intentionally lower quality) incredibly organic, like a living being, breathing and pulsing, feathered and colorful.
Humming Hills is a neat little tape for the fans of vintage, somewhat hazy ambient music with a touch of the New Age aesthetic. The listener won’t find any revolutions here, no strange experiments. The album follows the analog bliss scheme and follows it well. Audiophiles and people who want to hear every smallest glitch should also stay away from this tape though.

Listen to the sample on GoldTimers Tapes page.


Anonymous said...

any way you can post a link for this?

thanks so much!

Old Ez said...

Nice review. I am listening to this tape right now and you are spot on. I had one or two tidal tapes that didn't do much for me but I am loving the Venn Rain stuff. There's a new tape out on Goldtimers, a split with Past Utopia. Maybe we could get a similarly adept review of that one?

Old Ez'