Pairing classical instruments with field recordings and laptops is nothing new, but the Italian trio Herion coaxes whole restful expanses from the combination on this album, aided also by the violist Piergabriele Mancuso. The understated playing and even more ghostly textures take the form of everything from a soft and distant swell to a looming shadow to a natural, wind-like drift. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s somewhere between classical and ambient, but with a experimental edge that isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t commonly heard in either genre.
Although the more substantial viola tends to slice through the rich openness, the musiciansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ approach is always changing. That makes it hard to pin these songs down, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an urge you should resist anyway: as with the best ambient music, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best to simply sit back and experience whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lovely shivering quality to Ã¢â‚¬ËœLindosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and the more enveloping ‘The EarthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, while Ã¢â‚¬ËœCabÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ employs a melodica far more sweetly than usual. The low-hung synth of Ã¢â‚¬ËœOne Minute After the SunsetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ evokes the songÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s title image well, Ã¢â‚¬ËœMoske OrguljeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ hits upon some almost subliminal repetition, and the shorter Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Hanging GlacierÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ twitches with halted breath, bells, and other random sounds. And true to its name, Ã¢â‚¬ËœSoloÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ seems to feature just an isolated piano.
All of these subtle shades are forecast in the eight-minute opener Ã¢â‚¬ËœOxgÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, a sort of defining statement for the album. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot to love here, and meticulous new details emerge all the time.