IAN HOLLOWAY – These Clockwork Tides

Quiet World

“6 pieces of music inspired by the land and sea of the Gower Peninsula in South Wales where I live”. This is the simple, and probably most efficient description of the materials contained in These Clockwork Tides, a 50-copy limited edition on CDR that brings back to my ears the work of the ever-lovely Ian Holloway, the lone electronic artist I know whose use of camouflaged presets amidst less decipherable sources is sonically acceptable. The record does reveal a cinematic mood throughout the large majority of its six tracks: beginning with drones vaguely reminiscent of Klaus Wiese’s, the soundscapes touch on various aspects of perturbed stasis, with at least a couple of surprising turns towards the improvisational sphere. This occurs especially when Holloway strikes and plucks the insides of a piano in one of the central movements, an all-but-marketable move that opens new perspectives on the album’s general temperament. The longest stretch coincides with the conclusive segment: its gradual growth in terms of tension and ominous hues demonstrates that even in a quiet world there’s always something dangerous around the corner. A pleasing release that, strangely enough, blurs the lines of our mental clarity with subsequent listens rather than putting them under focus – and this has to be taken as a positive comment.

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