Hannu Karjalainen: A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert (Karaoke Kalk, 2017)

January 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hannu Karjalainen: A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert

At first I kind of thought this sounded like atmospheric jungle without the breakbeats, just leaving ambient floating. While some of the lush chords definitely have that sort of feel to it, it seems to be even more weightless, and there’s also more of a lo-fi roughness to it. It seems structured and loop-based, but yet it’s still not quite arranged so that beats could easily be pasted on top of it. And there’s something intimate about the way the melodies are played, even though it also seems really expansive and all-encompassing. Other pieces are a little closer to the usual for the modern classical side of ambient music. The title track is like a cluster of thin clouds fluttering across a sunset, for example. The most prominent rhythm is the resonating, somewhat tropical beats of “A Year In A Day”. “Love Is A Black Lion” moves away from the calmer, more pleasant sound of the majority of the album, into something more fearful, lonely, and reserved. “Breaks My Heart She Aria” starts with a soft, sighing vocal loop, then backwards crashes shudder in. Somehow the ambient jungle atmosphere, and some other hidden nature/incidental sounds, smooth everything out. Fans of Kompakt pop ambient material, don’t sleep on this.

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