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A Hundred Dry Trees

A Hundred Dry Trees

On A Hundred Dry Trees, Belgian artist Jerome Deuson has taken what originally was probably a pretty guitar album and deconstructed it into a series of mini-symphonic ambient washes. Imagine the quieter parts of Explosions In The Sky or Tarentel being extracted and ultimately completely worked over by Tim Hecker and you're getting somewhere close. Working in a slightly different pallette of sounds than Christian Fennesz (although within a similar overall genre), this 8 track release seems custom built for bleak winter days.

Although that last sentence may imply icy and austere sounds, this release is far from that. It's more chilly in the way that the windswept music of Biosphere is sometimes chilly, created with tones and sounds that reverb and stretch out over vast expanses. The opener of "Trouver Les Mots" mixes a couple layers of clean but somewhat desolate sounding guitar while fluttering tonal washes create a soft bed for it to lay upon. "A L'ombre De 12000 Medias" starts out with a fairly grounded guitar melody before fracturing into minimal washes of sound that include vocals and stuttering chimes. The whole track hisses and pops as if it's falling apart as it goes.

There isn't much in terms of structure to songs on the release, as they just sort of form out of a fog and then retreat back into it most of the time. On the gorgeous "Se Laisser Aller En Tournant or Let It Go Swirling," multiple layers of delayed, ringing guitars stream into the distance while a slight rhythmic thump enters the mix on occasion to keep things in line, and that slight nod of a pulse really helps set the track apart in a good way. Truly born of the laptop age, this is an amazingly textural ambient album that has both a forward looking quality and a sort of wistfull, nostalgic feel that keeps me coming back to it. Another great release on the Intr.Version label.

Rating: 7.5