22 March 2011

Hammock - longest year (2010, Redeye)

Six years after their debut album "Kenotic", Marc Byrd, Andrew Thompson, with their now regular collaborator Matt Slocum on cello, are still exploring similar areas of opulent and bright, peaceful and delicate ambient music.

"The Longest Year" is unsurprising and unchallenging but as always nicely pleasant if you want to clear out your mind of stress and tiredness and just let the time flow when you're commuting between home and work, and like to spend some time looking at the skylight, as the train rides through the plains between suburbs, as the sun slowly rises in the morning, or as downpours drench the country.

While often ambient music is best used in the background, with their warm emotional quality, their post-Cocteau Twins, post-Harold Budd, post-Slowdive devotions, their music works strangely better at higher volume, as they are finally homeopathically epic, lethargically magnificent and deeply relaxing.

What is particular to "Longest Year' is the absence of beats and the space offered to cello - particularly on "One Another", which is the stand-out track of this half hour - behind the endless shoegaze waves of reverberated and processed synth an guitar sources.

Longest Year by hammockmusic


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