Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Hotel Neon: Moments

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Artist: Hotel Neon (@)
Title: Moments
Format: CD + Download
Label: Sound In Silence Records (@)
Rated: * * * * *
Hotel Neon is an ambient trio, geographically spread between Philadelphia, Baltimore and Virginia Beach, USA. Formed in 2013 as a duo by twin brothers Andrew and Michael Tasselmyer, Hotel Neon expanded into a trio when Steven Kemner joined them in 2015. To date they have released five albums on labels such as Home Normal, Fluid Audio and Archives, a 10” vinyl split with Endless Melancholy on Thesis, and a single on Past Inside The Present. They have also self-released a remix album, two tour cassettes and four singles, two of which collaborating with Slow Meadow and one with Blurstem. Hotel Neon have toured with the likes of Benoît Pioulard, Lowercase Noises, Slow Meadow, Loscil, The Sight Below, Marcus Fischer and Christopher Tignor, filling a variety of performance spaces from galleries to cathedrals with their densely layered walls of sound, while all three members have also been active either as solo artists or in groups and projects such as The Sound Of Rescue, Gray Acres, Solidarity Hymn, Mordançage and Transient Sounds.

'Moments,' Hotel Neon’s sixth full-length album and first for Sound In Silence, consists of seven evocative tracks with a total duration of something more than 36 minutes. Sound In Silence says there is a stronger presence of more orchestral sounds than on their previous albums, but I haven't heard any of those. However, I am liking what I'm hearing on 'Moments.' There music is consistently dense and multi-textured, with a slow swirl and aural nimbus haze. It makes me wonder how three people in different locations could have collaborated on something that sounds so homogenous yet with different aspects that seem like they naturally belong together. This seems to be more in the "grey ambient" sub-genre than anything else. There is some subtle noise, but I wouldn't call the music noisy. There are elements of the orchestral and also shoegaze, but neither term fully apply. Songs are titled by dates ("Nov 2," "Oct 11," "Nov 3," etc.) an abstraction which would only seem to have relevance to Hotel Neon members. I found the music to be deeply restful and subliminally engaging, some of the best ambient I have come across of late. On every play I found myself liking it more and more, glad that nothing in particular stood out as

This album comes in three editions - The Deluxe Limited Edition of 100 handmade, hand-stamped and hand-numbered collectible copies with an exclusive eighth bonus track, packaged in a lovely sewn fabric envelope, which includes a 4 panel insert sheet containing tracklist and information printed on a 250 gsm smoky grey recycled cardboard and the front cover image printed on a polaroid style photo paper. It also comes bundled with a download code coupon and a Sound In Silence card. The standard Limited Edition CDr of 200 handmade and hand-numbered collectible copies is packaged in a lovely hand-stamped 127mm x 127mm 250 gsm smoky grey recycled cardboard envelope with the front cover image printed on a polaroid style photo paper and an insert sheet containing tracklist and information printed on a 120 gsm greyish white recycled cardboard. It also comes bundled with a download code coupon and a Sound In Silence card. And of course, there is also the digital album for those of you who eschew physical copies. Recommended!

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