Boomkat Product Review:
Mountains’ Koen Holtkamp follows-up 2014’s ‘Motion’ album for Thrill Jockey with this beautiful suite for Piano, Electronics, Cymbals, Bowls and Guitar for the on-form Umor Rex label, a blissful meditation on slowly unfolding sounds that sits somewhere between Kosmische and Raga.
Mountains’ Koen Holtkamp navigates the intricate undercurrents of new age, modular synth music and electro-acoustic, avant-garde practice in his lovely solo side, Voice Model for Umor Rex, after sketching out The Island (2015) with Peeesseye’s Chris Forsyth.
On two interrelated yet autonomous sides, he crystallises diverse, morphing forms from a palette of piano, modular synth, bowls, cymbals and processing perfused by licks of flute from Nina Mehta and Josh Millrod on trumpet. Time becomes a fluid, malleable substance in his hands, expanding and contracting between passages of densely detailed, insectoid nanometers, chromatic fractals and glacial lustre under its very own measurement of time and space.
The first side unfurls an optimistically chiming, colourful tract of hyaline bleeps in deliquescent pirouettes and and frothing harmonic clusters, initially almost seasick in its curly loveliness but soon enough expanding from chrysalis like beginnings into lush, winged strings and distorted burnout like the life story of a tropical butterfly.
His other side is a psychedelic orgy of insectoid rhythmic scuttle and mercurial gestures that bifurcate into new blooms with a delightfully unpredictable yet coherent logic, shaping a rich ecosystem of discrete tones that move with a viscous qualities akin to Rashad Becker’s music for notional species, or the deft practice of early Keith Fullerton Whitman jaunts.