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  Through the Winter Woods
  Tegh and Kamyar Tavakoli
Release Date:
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It should come as no surprise to long time readers of this site (yes, both of you!) that i am a fan of ambient music. I like the reflective, calm, slow-growing sounds that linger in the background, taking a long time to explore a musical space. Ambient music takes many shapes, but people who are not fans of the genre might not see the differences so much.

I say this as way of disclaimer (if you don't care for ambient music, you probably want to click away now -- it's fine, i will not be offended) and because Through the Winter Woods falls into the noisy side of the ambient spectrum.

That is not to say that this is noise music. This is not a feedback drone fest a la some of the Sonic Youth SYR releases. This is music made out of heavily distorted guitars, guitars fed through so much electronic modification that what come out is a slow wavering drone that ebbs and fades. Often the drone is wobbly and distorted, a hint of fuzziness at the edges, a bit of noise in the drone. This is as opposed to the very smooth sort of ambient music made from synthesizers. It's a subtle difference.

Tegh and Kamyar Tavakoli are two drone artists based in Tehran, Iran. And they are not related apparently -- it threw me off a little the way they write the names. Tegh is the entire name of one of the two artists, he is not Tegh Tavakoli. Tavakoli is the last name of the second artist only. I have never heard their solo work. Heck, before this promo wandered by, i had no idea there was a drone scene in Tehran!

There are three tracks here, each around seven minutes in length.

The first is called Hollow. It starts off with mellow drones, just echoed twisted sounds sliding against one another. One of them is a little overdriven, and slowly over the course of the first five minutes of the song, the overdriven feedbacky layer swells to overpower the rest of the layers. It grows to cover the drone in the background that ebbs slowly ebbing and a vocal sample of some kind, half- heard and in the distance. This tune unfolds in a really lovely way. For some reason, this tune reminds me of that Worriedaboutsatan record i listened to back in 2009.

Fractal is an echoed dub tune that reminds me of Loscil. Sounds waver and shake slowly as layers of drone wash around them. This song gets really loud in the middle with a shaking feedbacky layer echoing wildly.

Disappeared Stratum starts off faintly with staticky noise and a guitar distorted to the point of an unrecognized wash of sound. A distorted vocal sample wanders by, making the tune rather spacey. It slowly fades into a minimal end of echoed guitar and a reverbing vocal sample faint in the background, and suddenly they appear to be channeling Landing. Wonderful.

I really enjoy this release. It's slow and beautiful and the tracks unfold in lovely ways. Ambient music from Iran. Huh.

And guess what? It's a free download. Tegh and Kamyar Tavakoli have released this on Hibernate, a weblabel out of Halifax, UK. (I didn't know they had a Halifax in the UK... did Canada just steal every single name???) All you have to do is go to BandCamp to download it.

Happy, spacey listening!

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