07 July 2011

Josh Varnedore - 186,000 Endings per Second (2011, Dynamophone)

Half of the Amman/Josh duo, whose  last year "Places" EP was a real jewel but whose future seems apparently in indefinite hiatus, Josh Varnedore is back with an EP under his own name, preceding a full length.

Four tracks of instrumental ethereal ambient dreampop music with the same usual suspected influences, Hammock, RF, Sigur Ros, Insides, Album Leaf, Cocteau Twins, Harold Budd...

The whole EP has got entrancing qualities once played at higher volume, invading and filling the space with its volutes. Headphones are recommended to reveal the tiny details and the depth of the lush textures. 

"186,000 Endings per Second" is dreamy and vaporous, nicely swirling and smile inducing, conjuring visions of heavenly landscapes and settings, like a walk along an impetuous torrent downward a luxuriant valley.

"Sun Honey" is the epicentre of the EP, playing the role of  "Leawood" on "Places", being to summer what the other one was to autumn. It's a perfect track for lazying in a hammock in the shade of trees, with a refreshing breeze coming from the sea. But it's much more than a happiness inducing track, as there is a sensitive, both nostalgic and melancholic quality, a precious sense of coolness mixed with an emotional warmth rarely seen since The Cocteau Twins. It is on such track that he gains both authenticity and legitimacy.  

"Black Sun" is both fluid and sensual, with lightness, the kind of joy you experienced as a child while running through flowery meadows, and the nostalgia expressed by the guitar is priceless. The EP then ends with the ghostly "Golden (Beacon)" and it's piano √† la Harold Budd. 

A recommended listening experience.


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