Boomkat Product Review:
Original goth, Annie Hogan presents an extraordinary regression session of astral planing organs, keys and submerged field recordings on a new album for her pals at Downwards, reminding us of everything from Mihály Víg’s ‘Bela Tarr’ score to Sun Ra jams, Nate Young’s gunk to Pauline Oliveros’s deep listening works.
From her seaside perch, Studio Blue in The Wirral, she supplies a wholly absorbing hour of layered and mulched organ and field recordings that pushes the aesthetic of her Downwards works deep into silty oblivion and re-wilded beauty. The music here is supremely unyielding in its brooding convictions, invoking a concentrated transition from clouds of coruscating organ to the bleakest dockside noir and belly rumbling low end harmonics offered as her “emotional response to my connection to Earth.”
As with much of Annie’s solo work, her native Wirral landscape of ancient sandstone and gorse, surrounded by the rivers Mersey and Dee and the Irish Sea’s brown churn, heavily informs the music. She conjures the hard-bitten communist-era scenery of ‘80s Hungary evoked by Mihály Víg’s Bela Tarr scores as much as Welsh mountain ranges, and even ’60s sci-fi exoplanets spied by Sun Ra. Using Wurlitzer Organ (1961), Farfisa Bravo Organ (1980), Eko Piano 200 (1976), Marimba, Kawai Baby Grand Piano, Glockenspiel, Harmonica, Swanee Whistle, Clarinet, Bells, and Field Recordings in a way where its hard to discern each source, her timeless melodic touch holds a torch thru the darkness, sometimes flickering just out of earshot further along the path, beaming like a lighthouse from distant shores, or dappling scenes with the light of multiple moons.
Truly remarkable stuff, and a high water mark of what we know of Annie’s more than 40 years in the business. Aye, it’s definitely got under our skin, this one.