One Mile North

Minor Shadows

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A joint collaboration between guitarist Jon Hills and analog synth enthusiast Mark Bajuk, One Mile North's second record imagines how Papa M's echo-drenched instrumental guitar work might sound filtered through the tonal warmth of Brian Eno's tremulous mid-'70s synthpad excursions. Although a few brittle drum machine patterns, trumpets, and well-placed samples also factor into the mix, Minor Shadows is essentially forged on this interplay -- it's about how a guitar's rhythms can resound against an analog facade, or how an arpeggio can draw new colors out of a thick cloud of chords. Built on a repeating guitar motif and a swell of synths, nine-minute album opener "In 1983 He Loved to Fly" is an appropriately sleepy statement of intent. Other highlights include the gently percolating guitar tones in "The Sick," the vaporous chord progressions in the gentle "Black Lines," and the sprawling sawtooth lullaby of album closer "The Manual." Too active to be regarded as proper ambient music, Minor Shadows is nonetheless a slow and meditative record that requires time to germinate; just like the albums it so lovingly references, it too will reward listeners for their investment.

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