Brooklyn-based duo Mountains continue to take drone music to new peaks
of creativity on their second Thrill Jockey album, Air Museum.
On their 2009 debut Choral, Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp proved just how far
acoustic instruments can be transported beyond their natural state through the
ether of the latest advances in computer software, transforming everything from
bass, guitars and pianos to cellos, accordions and melodicas through
their homegrown digital filtration technique.
meanwhile, finds the pair taking these same instruments but processing them
through an assortment of effects pedals, modular synthesizers and other assorted
acts of analog trickery, recording everything in real time with minimal
editing. This new approach has given Mountains a more rhythmic sense of
purpose, palpable in the context of “Thousand Square”, which comes across
like one big intro to a Company Flow song, as well as “Sequel” and “Backwards
Crossover”, both of which are akin to Vangelis if he followed Brian Eno’s
lead by signing to Warp.
However, by the end of the record, all is washed away in a
haze of amp-infused tone clusters that permeate the closing number “Live
at the Triple Door”, a mesmerizing edit of a live performance at 2009’s
Decibel Festival in Seattle that just envelops your senses as if you were
standing in the crowd watching them onstage from the comfort of your listening
The method by which Mountains blur the line between nature
and technology through their multi-textural sound system feels more enriching
than ever on this strange and beautiful journey through the electro-acoustic cosmos.
DOWNLOAD: “Thousand Square”,
“Sequel”, “Backwards Crossover”, “Live at the Triple
Door” RON HART