16 May 2011

Mountains - mountains (Apestaartje, 2005)

Mountains is the project of  Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, both already behind the Brooklyn, NY label Apestaartje and with a few solo releases (as Anderegg and Aero). Mountains started as a live project before evolving into a compositional project and the fourth and last track of this debut is in fact a live recording.

This album features four long instrumental tracks and it’s hard to classify them, because it moves between electronic sounds, acoustic guitar, drones and field recordings, with always a minimalist and warm, almost intimate point of view.

There is nothing absolutely groundbreaking or extremely original here, and the tracks are mostly like slowly moving and evolving landscapes with a few emotional peaks and subtle textural shifts. They don’t want to impress you; they seem to only want to share a few feelings, between thoughts, meditation and contemplation. You can follow the evolution of the composition like you can use this music like background music.

As a good friend explained to me recently – and introduced me to the band previously -, their music goes much farther than simply writing subtle music in a definite style, there is something deeply and incredibly human in these narrative soundscapes, a kind of “naturalist approach”, extremely healthy and appeasing, like a return to the basic life, to the roots, to the familiar natural landscapes that surround(ed) your life (so far).

This is about minimalism and expression, without any focus on melancholy, nostalgia or too specific emotions, and at the same time it is something precious and something almost neutral.

Listening to Mountains is like making a long walk in a natural environment you already know, you progress slowly but surely waiting for the few point of views, the few special places you will cross, with a specific landscape, an association of plants and trees or one or another landmarks that means something for you. This is the kind of album you’ll return to sometimes, because like these places, it can become a part of your identity.

ps : "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" is one of my favorite instrumental songs ever.

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