by High Plains


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Cinderland is the first collaboration between ambient producer Scott Morgan (Loscil) and classically trained cellist Mark Bridges under the name High Plains, although Bridges had previously contributed to Morgan's generative music app Adrift. The duo recorded the album in the small town of Saratoga, Wyoming at the beginning of 2016, where they brought a portable recording studio, took up residence in a revamped school house, and captured sounds from the surrounding environment. The music is appropriately sparse and wintry, and bears little resemblance to the shimmering, submerged dub-techno usually associated with Loscil. It also doesn't quite sound like the typical "field recordings plus droning synths" album one might expect. The pieces are generally short, and are often driven by Bridges' sorrowful cello playing, although Morgan's ominous synthesizers and piano play a huge part in shaping the mood of the album. The pair typically go for a subtle approach rather than overwhelming with dread, but there are still a few alarming moments fit for a horror film score. The tension slowly builds during "A White Truck," until a burst of sour horn-like synths attack. "Ten Sleep" is appropriately gentle, with plucked strings drifting in ether and a gorgeous, understated melody, but it's not quite as sweet and pleasant as one might expect. A few tracks are propelled by slow, percussive bumps (but not electronic kick drums or pulses), such as the dragged thump that anchors the rippling waves of "Blood That Ran the Rapids." Other than "Song for a Last Night," which seems to have been recorded on a creaking porch, the album feels intimate and delicate without sounding rustic. The album always maintains an undercurrent of fear or despondency, but it never gets too overbearing, and stays intriguing throughout.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2017
Label: Kranky
UPC: 0796441820627
catalogNumber: 206
Rank: 164309

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