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This year’s Hibernate Recordings winter compilation Paws for Thought features exclusive tracks, including my work Nanook, all in aid of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester www.hospiceofthegoodshepherd.com

Artwork by Pam English
Mastered by Wil Bolton
Compiled by Jonathan Lees
Released 14 December 2013

Reviews

“Hibernate’s annual winter collection arrives as ‘paws for thought’ – a crackling fire gathering of old friends, thirteen of whom have dedicated a track to the compilation from which proceeds of which are going in aid of the hospice of the good shepherd in Chester. A chance for those previously unfamiliar with the wares of said imprint to get an introductory grounding of this exquisite neo classical / ambient label. First off the blocks and book ending the set perfectly are Antonymes and theapplesofenergy, both artists initialling the set with a similar fragile grandeur, the former of course much adored around these here parts, serves up ‘hibernate’ – typically elegant and frail, this beautified key opine measured in poise and breathlessly sparse trips somewhere between an ethereal aural axis upon which at one end sits Satie to the other Budd. Theapplesofenergy approach matters with much the same graceful arcing for the aptly titled ‘sleeping cubs’ – a serenely stilled aura endows throughout, the momentary turn of time by way of the unlocking a new world, for this sounds like the unearthing of a long silent celestial craft fallen from the stars and laid for centuries asleep, undisturbed and here arrested from slumber by its finders. Offthesky after some nervous twitches, clicks and what sounds like the sigh of a steam engine unfurls gloriously as though some unearthly visitation on the simply lilting and sepia drifted ‘bear wind against barren fur’. if glitchy spectral lo-fi frost tones be your bag then Isnaj Dui‘s ‘tremarctinae’ may prove right up your street, for admirers of Foehn and minotaur shock in the main, binary blip cascades and the silvery orb shimmers give it a sense of some heavenly body in eclipse motion. Tim / Maps and Diagrams kindly sent us a package of releases a week or so ago, all are on the to do list for words of fondness shortly. Before that though he serves up the bitter sweet beauty ‘the bear necessities’ – best described as an orbital sound station, the beauty here is that behind the monochrome shimmering detail there’s a secondary aural resource at play in the background which for a moment lines up to fuse with the primary source before dissolving away to nothing. Bit of a strange un this, two suites in one it appears to be, abruptly crossing over without warning, there’s a quiet refined majestic attaching to the first part of ‘Marsican RIP cycle 1/2’ by Olan Mill as it awakens from slumber to unfurl elegantly amid opining heralds while the second part is a more subdued affair of corteges of bowed flurries giving the impression of an aural water feature of sorts. Probably one of the sets best moments is ’hungry bear’ by Gideon Wolf – a haunting wood crafted minimalist mountain folk mirage threaded in the initial stages chiefly upon ghostly vocal choruses and the blending of old school nursery rhyme cut ups, from therein things get a little woozy as it dissipates into silvery shards of ethereal celestial bliss. Frail, fragile and elegiac are descriptors perfectly primed for describing the craft of David Newlyn, like Antonymes his neo classical murmurs are both stately and majestic and hitherto touched with a shy eyed romance as keenly noted on ’colargoi sur la lune’. also admired around these here parts is Wil Bolton whose collaboration with Mark Streatfield as Anzio Green for rednetic is primed for admiring words next missive out, here with ’Nanook’ a frost glazed snow globe. Those of you preferring your ambient listening experience expansive, cinematic and steeled in statuesque atmospherics will do well to fast tracks to James Murray’s ’ursa minor’ whilst with seamlessness from ‘ursa minor’ to ‘ground to ursa major’ prowls listening mirror with something darkly crafted, lunar and shimmered in ghost lights. Elsewhere the arresting dream popped showered ’norman’ by Clem Leek is whittled from the same kind of translucent beauty as that becoming of releases bearing the name Vini Reilly or else once upon a time found stumbling hazily glazed out of the make it mine imprint while Spheruleus usher in on what appears to be celestial tail smoke with the bliss kissed choral cortege ’ursida’. an utterly recommended collection that’s best experienced after dark in silent solitude.” – The Sunday Experience