HommÃ© is a collaboration between German producer Hendrik Vaak and Polish cellist Piotr Piesiak. Vaak also owns unGleich records and one half of Sender Berlin.
Realization for the Ear is environmentally conscious and conceptual, recorded in a small wooden house on the edge of Wysokie Lipy mountain in Poland. The first two tracks – “Mountains’ – are rather melancholy, with rolling saxophone and rhythmic bassline of moogy synths conveying space and height, and punctuated by pops and clicks that serve to warm the listener to the atmosphere led by melody.
The mountains concept is then followed by five tracks in the Haufen series, which is roughly German for pile, heap or cluster. I can only assume this is some sort of improvisation where Homme have clustered groups of sounds together for overall composition and progression. They are fairly different, but do seem congruent for progressive listening atmosphere.
“Ein Haufen’ (cluster #1) starts with plodding beat and is atmospheric, with slightly sinister keys and violins, which progress slightly to end on a well-balanced tip.
“Zwei Haufen’ (cluster #2) lacks percussion but still maintains previous pace, defiant sawing melody synth overlaying low bass moog, string synth rhythm, progressively adding layers of cello string synth rhythm and clicks. “Zwei Haufen Und Halb’ (cluster #2.5) concludes this second cluster, adding signature plodding beat, and the sawing layered cello and synths become even starker and breath-taking.
“Drei Haufen’ (cluster #3) contrasts the previous cluster with uplifting guitar chords and accompanying reverberating cello. Layers of synth serve to build rhythm and progression, made stronger with extra percussion layers and reverberating dubby synth stabs.
“Vier Haufen’ (cluster #4) is a spunky track with sophisticated attitude and twanging synth beat, and its progression is influenced by background whirring, punctuated by cello stabs. The beat midway through is kicked on with hat cymbal addition, and new layers settle then raise the tracks energy for more of a dancefloor feel.
In finale track “Woods’, an atmosphere is created through twinkling harp and eerie organ, backed by the cello melody. It then kicks off into a shuffling, groovy, irresistible drum beat. Extra layers of synth are added to bring the funk whilst still retaining the wonder and atmosphere previously created, before dissipating and leaving the original atmosphere lingering.
Overall, Realization for the Ear is effective in casting its spell, the art of overall composition apparent in the refinement of sounds and attention to atmosphere. The end result is an elevated listening experience that hones in on the essentially organic relationship between the body and sound.
Listen to the album here: http://www.hommehomme.org/