artist: Ian Holloway
release: Passing Through Occasionally
year of release: 2011
detailed info: discogs.com
One of Ian Holloway’s latest drone works was released on Adrian Shenton’s Phonospheric label recently. It is one of those longer one-piece suites in which a soundscape can be explored extensively and at a leisurely pace.
In terms of mood, Passing Through Occasionally reminds me of Itto’s Sound on an Empty Road, in which Holloway was also involved, because of the combination of dark drones and treated environmental recordings on the one hand, and slow-moving, tentative melodies on guitar and synth on the other. To me, the music describes a solitary journey through some natural environment, where the sensations from outside (plants, insects, weather) are somehow amplified and abstracted at the same time. This contrasts the openness of the outdoors experience with a sort of mental claustrophobia imposed by the altered sensations.
It is an effect I’ve felt in more of Holloway’s compositions and it is always an intriguing listening experience when you are in the mood for something introspective and slightly mystifying. So, if you’ve been in one of his worlds before and would like to return, or fancy a first journey here, this pleasantly priced but highly limited CD-R is a very fine place to start.
Reviewed by O.S.
1. Passing Through Occasionally (37:00)