ALPINE.: Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates (Highpoint Lowlife)


Posted on Aug 4th 2009 12:15 am

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Alpine.: Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates

Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates
Highpoint Lowlife 2009
06 Tracks. 18mins45secs
Format: Digital

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Alpine. (note the dot as part of the name) is the latest recruit of the Highpoint Lowlife squad, and this EP is his first release. Behind the project is Alex Smalley, already known of Highpoint Lowlife for being one half of Pausal, who published a digital-only EP on the label two years ago, while Smalley’s video work was also featured on the label’s Analog For Architecture compilation released that same year. Fr:om Harmed Weather To Stark, Micro, Climates., also a digital-only released, is made up of six tracks, each track title, added to the previous, forming the full title of this release.

Exploring beautiful ambient musical forms, built around vaporous soundscapes and gentle electronic brushes which have a tendency to evaporate all too quickly, Smalley deploys here a series of nuanced and fragile compositions dotted of a great evocative scope. All the way through, Smalley teases his audience with vast cinematic soundscapes which could sprawl over almost endlessly, but which are instead cut down and brought to miniature size, never going much over the four minute mark, and often staying well under that. This truly contrasting effect is remarkably effective on the pastoral Weather, which appears to concentrate shimmering summer light, brooding storms and melting snow into just two and a half minutes. On the longer To Stark, Smalley once again plays with the notion of light and shade by bringing together wind chimes, slowly evolving patterns and sombre textures, while following track Micro, focuses on much smoother and linear drone-like forms, only disturbed by the addition of found sounds in the distance. Earlier, Smalley assembles harsher sounds on Harmed to once again create an evolutionary drone, but here, there is much more emphasis on its angular aspect.

At times, there are hints of Eno’s Ambient experiments hidden deep within the dense sound clusters of this record which, when they surface, most notably on opening piece Fr:om and on Climates. which closes, give these respective tracks a particular hue otherwise only noticeable in the distance, while, elsewhere, his confident production and sound formations contribute to making this a truly fascinating, if much too short, opus. Following the recent ambient release from The Village Orchestra, Alpine. provides Highpoint Lowlife with yet another fine slice of atmospheric electronic music.


Icon: arrow Alpine. (MySpace) | Highpoint Lowlife
Icon: arrow Download: Amazon UK | Amazon US | iTunes | Boomkat

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