Delia Gonzalez composed Horse Follows Darkness after she and her eight-year-old son moved back to America after spending some time in Berlin. She states that America suddenly felt like a foreign country to her, and equates it with exploring the Wild West, additionally citing Western films as an influence on the album. Coming two years after In Remembrance, an album of solo piano works based on 16mm ballet dance films, Horse Follows Darkness also seems to be a return to the kosmische and avant-disco sounds Gonzalez was known for during the 2000s, when she collaborated with Gavin Russom (both under their own names and as part of Black Leotard Front). Tracks like "Hidden Song" merge swiftly pumping beats with fluid, smoke-like guitars and basslines, as well as gentle, atmospheric synths. Piano continues to play a major role, but in different ways depending on each individual piece. The two selections without beats (opener "In Through the Light" and the title track) are mysterious, dream-like, and detached, and the pianos are often reversed or obscured. Otherwise, the pianos help form the backbone of the more rhythmic tracks, finding common ground between minimalism and zoned-out cosmic disco. "Roulette" is the album's starry centerpiece, with lush, cascading pianos setting the stage for floating light rays of guitar and a Kompakt-esque shuffle beat. If there's any track on the album which conjures up imagery of the Wild West, it's the vast, dusty "Vesuvius," but its storming beats and simmering arpeggios are a lot closer to Moroder's vision of the West than Morricone's. At only 30 minutes, the album is brief, but it's still transportive and illuminating. In Remembrance felt like the beginning of a new journey for Gonzalez; Horse Follows Darkness feels like trying to return to a prior destination but ending up somewhere else entirely.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson