Saturday, February 16, 2013

Olan Mill Home [Circa , 2012]

Olan Mill is actually a group comprised of Alex Smalley and Svitlana Samoylenko, who have released two other albums collectively to date; Pine (2010) and Paths (2012). The arrangement was predominantly Smalley’s work this time around, who is also featured on the album for his guitar and field recordings. Genre-wise, this is ambient with classical roots; and it is absolutely gorgeous. Each track is its own ethereal field, blending so solidly into one another that it’s hard to discern tracks unless you’re following the timer. Violins, operatic vocals, flutes, and even a pipe organ work their way in and out of a wall of sound that Smalley provides. Track 1 (La Senda Verde), begins the meditative journey by starting listeners out in a tunnel, where various work and machinery are soon lost in steam and finally a lo-fi bitcrush. The latter might as well be the sound of death, because the next 33 minutes afterwards feels like Smalley’s interpretation of the afterlife. I cannot praise this album enough. 

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