09 October 2010

Olan Mill - pine (2010, Serein)

Olan Mill is the project of Alex Smalley (Pausal, Alpine.) and Svitlana Samoylenko. "Pine" is their debut release. It's an instrumental ambient album with piano, violin, pipe organ and guitar, all instruments draped in reverb with attacks and levels smoothed and blurred. It floats somewhere between both other projects of Alex Smalley, more developed than Alpine and less complex, and engulfing than Pausal.

This album was recorded inside a small church, so the atmosphere exhales feelings of coziness and reverence. It's tempting to compare these works to the Stars of the Lid but "Pine" is nowhere as extreme or groundbreaking as this reference, it's a much more traditional work and it reminds me also of Harold Budd, but mostly of the kind of solo compositions Roger Eno, Brian's brother, recorded, maybe for this romantic dimension they share. 

It is a pleasant record but none of these tracks really grabs my attention and make me want to stop and listen to it once again. It is just too comfortable and relaxing, there is no challenge here, nothing you haven't already heard somewhere else with more strength and conviction. It's not that this is a weak album, it's just that there is no impact on my mind and so no trace left in memory.

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