AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Howlround – Torridon Gate (2014; A Year in the Country)

a1642773331_2Halloween may be over, but evocative, haunting music is always welcome. To that end, Torridon Gate is an EP-length piece of ghostly echoes, scrapes, and drones. As noted by the label, “All of the music on this album was created from a single recording of a front garden gate on Torridon Road in Hither Green, London. These sounds were captured using a contact microphone and processed, looped and edited on three reel – to – reel tape machines with all electronic effects or artificial reverb strictly forbidden.” If the intent was to elicit the feel of a spooky countryside or an abandoned house, Howlround has accomplished their mission.

At times, Torridon Gate seems to call on William Basinski, early Tangerine Dream, and Northern European dark ambient stylings. But the result is more than just an amalgam of these sounds.  While decent-quality ambient and electronic music is becoming a dime-a-dozen, one searching for more need not look farther than this release.  Perhaps the analog nature of the recording and processing captures certain frequencies, as well as a distorted imperfection, that delves straight into the animal part of one’s brain.  A welcome addition to the horror music genre.

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