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Band Ane - Amish Music Caravan [Clang - 2014]

Band Ane is the pseudonym of Ane Ostergaard, a project which began in 2006 with her debut "Anish Music", and continues now with its 3rd LP, titled "Anish Music Caravan" in confusing similarity to her debut.

It contains a fragile, sensitive style of smooth and tuneful cinematic ambient music, wearing emotion blatantly on the exterior, summoning all energy available to recreate the soothing sensation of having returned home, of relaxing within one's domain.  The sound is dripping with passion and romanticism.  A domestic, rainy day type album, it provides a canvas to haunted solitary wonderings as well as serene feelings of perfect comfort.  It is an enveloping sanctuary of consonance.

The warm, intimate emotional underpinnings of the sound recall Stars of the Lid or recent Fennesz, as does the use of instrumentation such as strings, piano, organ or bells.  This style of ambient music is largely true to the original late 70's definition as played by Eno or Kluster, with an infusion of the feeling of modern post rock and indie.

Her music progresses at a quicker pace than most ambient recordings, gentle but mentally active, more suited for mornings than for drifting off to sleep, with short tracks and occasional forays into higher levels of rhythmic activity with bedroom IDM style drum machine beats.

The production is impeccable, bright, colorful, clean and deep, with amazing spacialization, and a very 'high budget' feeling in which each timbre is rich, full and immediate.  To achieve the crystal clarity of this album requires generous helpings of patience and a true perfectionist mindset.

The album reliably brings vibrant new sounds and tonal developments every couple of minutes, avoiding the monotony that plagues many 'art ambient' albums, which tend to dwell too heavily on sparsity, often focusing on piano alone.  Each short 'scene' on this album possesses its own palette of colors, and it would be difficult to count the multitude of total timbres used.  In "Robin Hood Horn", a harmonica is paired with a processed bassoon or oboe to gorgeous effect.

Cinematic music isn't always my bag, often following convention to the point of lacking character.  "Anish Music Caravan", on the other hand, immediately jumps out as an inspired and creative piece of work.  The music is overflowing with sounds and content, undoubtedly requiring several listens before many elements will even be noticed.  Its vivid production and general sonic beauty is nearly peerless.  All in all, an enjoyable and repeatably experience, though it can be heart wrenching.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Josh Landry
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