Review: Ian Holloway - Walking Through Fireflies (2007)


artist: Ian Hol­lo­way
release: Walk­ing Through Fire­flies
format: CD-R
year of release: 2007
label: Quiet World
dur­a­tion: 42:43

Nor­mally, Ian Hol­lo­way records under the name of Psychic Space Inva­sion, but for this release, actu­ally the first offi­cial Quiet World release, he uses his own name. This is, in a way, appro­pri­ate, for Walk­ing Through Fire­flies is quite dif­fer­ent from the PSI releases so far; both more dark and more per­sonal, I feel. It is ded­ic­ated to Vic Golightly, a deceased friend, and a lot of feel­ing went into this trib­ute.

All the same, this Welsh artist stays within his genre: dark drones and ambi­ences. And as always, he knows what he’s doing. The tracks on this album are quite min­im­al­istic, mak­ing use of sparse set­tings of synth waves, slow melod­ies, occa­sional samples, and the like. It’s a slowly drift­ing series of bleak sounds, suit­able for dark and rainy days like the ones we’re hav­ing now right here.

The major parts of the album crawls along in this fash­ion, and though it’s atmo­spheric, I don’t find it as excit­ing as some of Ian’s other works. This changes in the last two tracks though, which are more than excel­lent. “Tower of Winds” is one of the darkest ambi­ent tracks I’ve heard in a while, with a solid, low dron­ing base, and layered effects provid­ing the melody. It’s hard to describe, but this is one hell of a track: scary, oppress­ive, heavy. Equally impress­ive is “Sunny­shine”, a deceiv­ing name if there ever was one. No happy-happy-joy-joy here, but just one gloomy mass of mel­an­cholic synth waves.

So, while the first part of the album is OK, but not incred­ible, the last two tracks surely make up for that. As a whole, this album is a bleak exer­cise in ambi­ent elec­tron­ics, and it shows some of the more darker sides of the expres­sion of mourn­ing - a fit­ting trib­ute for a lost friend, in any case. This is a recom­men­ded album for drone and dark ambi­ent enthu­si­asts, and another well done release by Hol­lo­way. A good start for Quiet World.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. New Sea­sons (5:50)
2. Trimmed (4:26)
3. The Fall of the Year (4:01)
4. A Lighter Being (4:23)
5. The Birds Ban­quet (9:36)
6. Tower of Winds (7:12)
7. Sunny­shine (7:15)

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