Review: Higuma - Pacific Fog Dreams (2011)


artist: Higuma
release: Pacific Fog Dreams
format: LP
year of release: 2011
label: Root Strata
dur­a­tion: 40:58

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

This pro­ject of Evan Cam­in­iti (also of Barn Owl) and Lisa McGee has released one earlier album and one EP, but ulti­mately got my atten­tion this year with this, the Pacific Fog Dreams LP. From a pro­ject related to Barn Owl, one would expect dreamy, psy­che­delic music, and that assump­tion is war­ran­ted, although Higuma focuses exclus­ively on lush gui­tar and vocal drones.

A min­im­al­ism in approach yields a max­imum of impact on Pacific Fog Dreams, where rel­at­ively simple tonal and chord pro­gres­sions are trans­formed into fuzzy blankets of sound by a vari­ety of effects. In other words, it is an exer­cise in util­ising sound manip­u­la­tion to cre­ate pre­cisely the tex­tures and timbres wanted to cre­ate evoc­at­ive and atmo­spheric music.

The power of the music is there­fore not only in the grand sweep of the sound, but also in the little details that strike you here and there. A small turn of voice or note can have a lot of power when it suc­cess­fully artic­u­lates itself out of a dense wash of fuzz. Par­tic­u­larly the mel­an­choly first track has quite of few of those grip­ping moments, and the acous­tic outro on “Crys­tal Har­vest” is another divine moment, per­haps rather unas­sum­ing in any other con­text, but per­fect here.

Pacific Fog Dreams is an excel­lent LP for lov­ers of thick drones with a touch of the organic, the spa­cious, the aqueous. A moment of drift­ing and con­tem­pla­tion that’s simple enough to be access­ible, yet deep enough to hold you for quite a while.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Pacific Temple (8:18)
2. Burn­ing Col­ors (3:59)
3. Mor­raine (6:13)

4. Crys­tal Har­vest (4:37)
5. White Winds (3:25)
6. Sol­stice (6:01)
7. The Veiled Lamp (8:25)

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