Review of Mount Carmel [12k1090]

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(Translated from German)

An ode to childhood.

A very emotional work in the field of ambient appears the fourth album by M. Grig Mount Carmel, a personal reflection of the musician’s own childhood. Especially the landscape has shaped the album, including the memory of young age. Now the music area of ‚Äč‚ÄčAmbient is relatively large and multi-faceted, but the style of M. Grig retains a certain autonomy in the genre. The acoustics come mainly from the instrument, the guitar.
M. Grig is Michael Grigoni, a composer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in Dobro, Lap Steel and Pedal Steel Guitar. He is originally from the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Durham, North Carolina. With extensive credits as a session musician and independent film composer, he has released three instrumental albums since moving to North Carolina, most notably Still Lifes in 2017, bringing the musician the break-through and attention he deserves worked hard. His musical sense is due to his studies in ethnomusicology and theology as well as the different places where he lived and traveled.

Feeling of homeliness that resonates with every chord

Mount Carmel lives from its relaxed and dreamy atmosphere. The guitar collagen, metered electric passages and the minimal noise. Complex in the levels, but quite catchy and down to earth. Above it sits a certain sense of homeliness that resonates with every chord. The supporting pillar is the Dobro, a resonator guitar that gives the whole picture of harmony and longing a certain stamp. Wabernde guitar loops, crystal clear synth passages merge with emotional arrangements and ethereal guitar figures. It is up to the listener to decide whether he should think of dusty prairie plains in the pieces, barren hills without trees or deep forests where the light barely touches the ground. The thoughts of his own childhood have Michael Grigoni acoustically very well implemented.

The album has to offer a total of 8 songs of wide dynamics, technically located at an extremely high level. The sound structures are textured across levels, with slightly laconic and melancholic features. Far from the hustle and bustle, the pieces of Mount Carmel spread expressionism and emotional sensitivity in the guise of the ambient. The balancing act between emotional structures and sensitive facets of daydreams succeeds again and again, even when listening to the album several times. Especially the pieces “Mount Carmel” and “Capistrano” are two big gems in the genre and fill you with their emotional layers of fortitude. Either way, the album is to be regarded as a complete work.

Music for the heart and the soul, these are the acoustic worlds of Michael Grigoni and his project. Of course, you do not reinvent the wheel in the genre, but you do not have to, because the great strength of this music is, as mentioned, the reference to your own imagination, and that is different for each listener. Mount Carmel and his landscape: “This particular landscape permeates and orients the record for me.” – so an original sound from the composer. This acoustic picture was drawn with a lot of heart and melancholy.

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