An Intimate Sound From Montpellier

arthrn, a multi-genre music producer from France, presents one of his ambient pieces titled ‘While’, as part of the Stagne EP which appeared on the web a few months ago.

Originality in sound design is certainly a quality that defines arthrn, this piece is one that creates a space taking on the presence beyond that which physical sound occupies. It offers a space of emotional depth, which is suggested by the harmonic yet inharmonic combination of sounds that disseminate across an ever lasting reverb, with shifting pitches and gliding chords, the melodic progressions are one of a kind.

Listening to While, in the distance of the reverb you will hear sounds reminding us of a horn, plucked instruments and sustained keys that are all made to sound unlike you would imagine.

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Beyond The Hill's 'Granular Life' will turn your life into film

The debut EP from Japan’s 丘を越えて (Beyond The Hill), out now on 16:9 Recordings, is the perfect first release for a label ostensibly focusing on cinematic styles of music. 16:9 is of course the standard aspect ratio for High Definition digital video, and the EP’s title of ‘Granular Life’ is certainly evocative of one of the most distinct qualities of film, namely grain. But the title also goes beyond visual qualities, and can be taken more literally: these tracks were produced using granular synthesis techniques.

The opening track, Flicker Wind, (listen above) is a timeless ambient opener that would do well to accompany any number of tasks in daily life. It is at once precise in tone, and also flexible to interpretation. Think Boards of Canada in their more cinematic mode. The rest of the tracks on this EP only strengthen this comparison, expanding the Granular Life cinematic world in all directions. It’s a shame that such a carefully constructed world clocks in at under 15 minutes, just when you start to feel at home in its warm embrace. Nevertheless, it’s a strong first release from 16:9, and we’ll have to keep an eye on the label to see what they conjure up next.

Stream “Flicker Wind” above, and find the whole EP on 16:9 Recordings’ Bandcamp.

- review by autonomy

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Keep up with 16:9 Recordings further releases on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.