Review of This Valley Of Old Mountains [12k1091]

Drifting, Almost Falling (BLOG)

This Valley Of Old Mountains offer what you would hope for on their self titled debut. This is not meant as an insult, rather that the listener when looking at the pairing of Deupree and Durand would have expectations or hopes to how the release might sound. With Durand’s “Alba” album that 12k put out back in May the sounds was quite static soaked and environmental in nature. With this release these elements are still part of the sound, but in the case of the static, the music is more clearer (if still distant) and the environmental approach is still there but you get a sense of (sound) explorers comparing their field journals.

Some of the music has a vignette feel, but on the album’s epic track “Vist” clocking in at eight minutes and twenty four seconds the duo really excel in creating a slice of hazy delicate beauty that is very subtle in all it’s relaxed charms and micro melodies. A feature of some of the pieces on the album is the barely there qualities which is as important as the more present qualities. This quality for me is one which evokes a place of isolation where there is a stillness and calm and the only sounds you can hear are those that are created from the earth and nature.

Despite a long love affair with loud music that has undoubtedly affected my hearing, I can still hear those little treasures of sound that seem to be sewn into the music that can only be really captured by headphone listening. The albums final piece (and my second favourite after the aforementioned “Vist”) “Flykra” exhibits this with subtle slashes of sound which remind me of the rotor blades on a helicopter. You know with both Deupree and Durand’s work you will be getting a style of music that has an organic feel, one which engages with it’s surroundings as well as it does with it’s sounds and this is very much the case with this album. No curve balls are thrown in, just an honest and reflective work that fans of both would naturally appreciate. Each musician compliments the other and the results speak for themselves.

When listening to this album I think about how many of the 12k principles that this directly interacts with or represents. These include: *Treat your audience as they are: intelligent, passionate lovers of art and sound, *Never try to be perfect. Beauty is imperfection. and * Explore sound as art, as a physical phenomenon — with emotion. For these reasons this record is one which perfectly encompasses the artists individual backgrounds and the label itself. “This Valley Of Old Mountains” is available on CD and Digital.

View Website View Release