Kiln

Holo

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Caught somewhere between post-shoegaze dreaminess, goth ethereality, and just a dollop of industrial beats and new age spin, Kiln, on Holo, create a striking, enjoyable series of instrumental compositions that easily live up to the attractive artwork and design of the album itself. At times Holo suggests what Steve Roach or Vidna Obmana would do if they were a band rather than solo acts, with the same delicacy and careful, understated emphasis on performance. The use of keyboards helps determine this flow, acting as a combination of shading and lead melody, while the guitars and semi-tribal beats fill out the songs in even greater detail. Nearly every song takes some while to fade in -- the last, "Continentsunderclouds," takes nearly a full minute! -- adding to the air of careful deliberation. There's a playful but, in keeping with Holo's mood, very low-key tinge of breakbeat and dub rhythm exploration -- just enough to suggest itself, as on the ravishing "Kekker," but not to the point of taking over the songs. One of the best efforts is "Sunsculptureone," where it's not so much beats as static crackles, rising and falling in the mix in combination with droning synths and the occasional guitar chime. It's mesmerizing, a definite highlight for the group and the album, while a similar but less fuzzy approach is used on "Gauss," with a quietly queasy keyboard loop and lurking guitar feedback leading the way. The individual compositions are short, and arguably too short -- Kiln do a wonderful job in setting moods that could easily last longer. The slow waft of "Sienna," acoustic guitar to the fore, and "Docedatheon" are two more strong points on this enjoyable, underrated release.

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