Monday, September 28, 2020
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Artist: Mountains (@)
Title: Centralia
Format: CD
Label: Thrill Jockey (@)
Rated: *****
After listening this graceful release by Brooklyn-based duo of Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg, I dare to say that if hills have eyes, mountains have certainly ears! Named after the desolate ghost town of Centralia (Columbia County, Pennsylvania), where a large undergound fire (still unextinguished) of anthracite coal mine acted as a depopulation bomb due to air pollution and excessively hot temperature in 1962, a somewhat tragic event which tickled the imagination of many writers, musicians, directors and other creative flairs, this release could give you the impression these musicians turned into transducers of that surreal land, lying on a brazier which scared away the sacrilegious asinity of its previous usurpers (it seems that the abandoned mine was set on fire by dumping of hot ashes during landfill) nd will last for centuries to keep them at a safe distance. The static appearance of electronic mantles almost evokes the quiet grandiosity of a massif, which overlooks its surrounding realm, whereas computational sparks and the extreme cleaness of both electronic and instrumental sound seems to mirror the purificatory and slowly pervading action of that fiery furnace which managed to melt pavements and asphalt and undoes chasms, rifts and cracks on the ground. A certain sense of tragedy of some overstreched frequncies and decomposing sounds oddly coalesces with organic splendours of instrumental parts and over the album, but the first weight, under sedation of heart rending cello and strings ("Sand"), lulling or entrancing guitar arpeggios ("Identical Ship", "Circular C"), pastoral-like symphonies ("Tilt"), lukewarm psychedelic suites ("Propeller"), bubbling springs of electronic gleaming ("Liana"), could be more clearly felt in the final lovely hesitant "Living Lens". Tragically soothing.


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