News From Mr. Holloway

Always a delight receiving bulletins (under the semblance of new releases, of course) by Ian Holloway, whose label Quiet World – formerly Elvis Coffee – keeps publishing small handmade editions containing music that, particularly when listened at night or in the early morning, causes exactly what the imprint’s name promises, namely making us enjoy a peaceful hour while being caressed by a soothing kind of electronica (with a few exceptions – read on).

Mote is a 3-inch CD that lasts 15 minutes (so much for the above mentioned “hour”), its two tracks essentially conceived for superimposed organ chords, or at least synthetic patches that sound like organs. It’s an extremely uncomplicated statement: stagnant, slightly swelling, almost no harmonic movement and, when there is some, practically indiscernible. A (very) distant term of association could be Charlemagne Palestine’s work with oscillators; obviously we’re not at the same stage of profoundness, but this midget release is quite likeable nevertheless.

Where Have We Been In The World Today? is instead a full-length opus that I found beneficial on the psyche at a moderate playback level (OK, make that “ambient”) rather than by listening too alertly to it. The content here is definitely more variegated from one track to the next, ranging from broad-minded explorations of the galaxies of low frequency – the initial “Froodles” comes to mind – to unsympatheticallydiscordant superimpositions of permanent keyboard clusters, as it happens in “Alpha Riddle”, often travelling through infinite repeats of hypnotic patterns and quivering waves ransacking our misrepresentation of a regular Saturday evening. In general, this is a less-uniform-than-usual record by Holloway, psychedelic to a degree; it doesn’t look for eminence in its relative poverty of compositional means, yet manages to appear as a bizarre embodiment of disguised fears right in the middle of an apparently calm setting. A piece such as “Wherewithall” (sic) might turn out to be a panacea for obsolescent babblers in need of a well-deserved rest, and the conclusive, wonderful “Jute” puts many self-professed shamans of artificial drone to shame. As constantly occurring in this man’s presentations, honesty can literally be smelled: this is the main reason of my appreciation and support.

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