steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Waiting For The Tiller" CD

Parasomnic Records

Genres: ambient, experimental electronic

PMB 2211
10002 Aurora Ave N #36
Seattle WA 98133

Nov 15 - 21 2004

I've always liked Hollydrift's uniquely anti-academic approach to experimental music.  Instead of composing conceptual, serious "avant-garde" electronic compositions, Mathias Anderson uses samples and effects to create strong mood pieces, assemblages of sound used to engulf the audience in a dark, mysterious atmosphere.  "Lakeshore Skycue," for example, sets the tone with a number of creepy sound clips before drowning the listener in layers of warmly mechanical ambience - as a result, it's one of the best tracks on Waiting For The Tiller, Hollydrift's first record for the recently-formed electronic Parasomnic label.

As is the case with his previous work, Anderson's new music is distinctly different, so it will only be accessible to a select few.  This is unfortunate, though - the sounds on this record, while sometimes unusual, are never disparate in nature; all of this album blends well, sustaining an eerie, flowing mood.  I would expect most open-minded listeners to really enjoy Tiller's atypical sound if they give it a chance, especially on "Marisa Relay" and the noisy, climactic "From An Old Horizon."  Experimental soundscapes are what fill Waiting For The Tiller, but they are never tepid or bland - partly because, unlike many avant-electro artists, Anderson doesn't treat himself like the Second Coming.  Clock it up, this is yet another success for Hollydrift.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]