A new season and a new collaborative release. I present to you, 'Hollow Mountain' between composer Tom Adams (Toma, The Mountaineering Club [Orchestra]) and electronics master, Rhys Copeland (line specta), their début release in the form of a short EP constructed from live samples, drone and ambient recording takes from studio sessions in the cold winter. It dares to take these recordings and sends them straight to tape with hardly any post-processing, which explains a startling opening piece...
The baffling 'Devices'' is just 18 seconds long and fully panned to the left; hardly anything to go on, and it conjures up more questions than realisations. What they have cunningly figured out is that your auditory awareness will suddenly be blown away when the second piece starts without heed. 'The Great Hall' is an ethereal piece (this time in stereo) constructed with simple chord patterns, low fuzz-driven drones and the occasional sound of transpiring live sampling elements.
'Kenosis' is the first piece that I feel gives us an overall insight into the dynamics of live collaboration between the two composers. You can hear the subtle sampling of guitars gently sweeping and swirling in the background through the passing of a beautiful piano motif. Whilst this happens, soft atmospheres of synthesiser form a platform for the sounds to evolve and capture us wholly.
A short track with a title that could indicate to the location of the N.W.O Headquarters ('Milton Keynes: City of the Future') passes by and we're into the EP's final piece, 'In The Ruins Of The Cathedral'. At just under 13 minutes, this is what this release was really made for. It closes off the album beautifully and captures the moments spent between Adams and Copeland rather elegantly. You can sense that time was no object for these two in their experiments.
The EP as a whole is one with many imperfections but what can you expect when a brand new collaboration dares to record live and send straight to tape? I don't think you could ask for more from Adams and Copeland other than the experience of a live show. That being said, the first shows are planned for this coming May.
Posted: Fri 23 March 2012