Filed under: Releases | Tags: Cracked Mirrors and Stopped Clocks, Electroacoustic, Origami Biro
Discovered this little beauty today and man it is….well….I just snapped up the full download after listening to only two tracks….say no more. Bringing acoustics and electronics together in a way that I haven’t heard before, or at least not at this level of production, Tom Hill aka Origami Biro is one artist I will be keeping a close eye on in 2009.
Nottingham-based Tom Hill shifts course from his beat-driven electronica releases on Wichita Records to sculpt an eccentric album of classical guitar and organic environmental samples for the Expanding Records label. Cracked Mirrors and Stopped Clocks opens with impending doom, as cinematic strings and spidery guitars emerge from a tunnel of noise, fading into estranged solo acoustic guitar refrains. The following Noshi is just beautiful, as Hill plays out a delicate guitar track, with the microscopic creaking of chairs and strings deliberately heightened in the mix – it has a wonderfully natural, melancholy feel and the chords are gorgeously arranged. The album fluctuates between these states, classical guitar merged with spotlessly organic creaks and clicks, all intermittently manipulated, although it’s hard to always pinpoint where the line is drawn. There are some very bizarre tracks here too, like Dissect Ephemeral, where the components mentioned above are bewildering diced and spliced, then joined by strangely filtered computerised vocal mutterings. Bizarre but definitely good. Meanwhile, perhaps a career in soundtrack beckons for Hill, The Last of Its Leaves succeeds in building a climax of foreboding strings and plucked/picked guitars, and elsewhere the track Remnants demonstrates Hill’s qualities as a sound designer – a much slower combination of wooden instruments and electronics, where every key tone, guitar string and studio technique is available for intricate inspection. If there is a negative, it’s that too many tracks are similar in their characteristic; much of Cracked Mirrors and Stopped Clocks wanders gracefully but retains a heavily fractured uniformity that can leave the listener a little detached – it’s also a little too slow in places. Still, there’s just about enough diversity here, the eerie Unknown In The Walls is a true ghost story of an effort, its spindly guitars wriggling like evil worms over a threatening, slow building cascade of sound – if they remake The Shining this should be first in the soundtrack queue. One thing’s for sure, if you fancy something a bit different then the Expanding label has come up trumps yet again.
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