Esoteric electronic duo Hirola recently released their fantastic debut mini-album through new music group Phantom Limb, headed by FatCat alumnus James Vella and former Royal Albert Hall exec Mark Pearse.
Hirola comprises Bristol-based producers LTO (formerly of acclaimed electronic outfit Old Apparatus, and a highly respected solo artist in his own right) and edapollo (signed as a solo act to Bad Panda and Svnset Waves). Their music together is entrancing. More expressive and human than straight computer music, much more obfuscate and abstract than pop music, Hirola’s debut offering has strength enough to scale multiple peaks.
We asked the 2 producers to write us out this track-by-track story to introduce you to the release...
(Ed) "This was probably the quickest and in some ways one of the most natural tracks to form on the record. I laid down most of the fundamental parts in one evening and it seemed to click straight away. I then sent it to Steve and he nailed the beautiful main piano part straight away, which added lots more weight and depth to the track. I love the simplicity and atmosphere of this track and the way every sound has it's moment. It has an almost hypnotic feel about it and really reflects the mood I was in when I initially started it."
(Ed) "The main elements of this track had been around for a while but we never quite felt it was finished. After some time away from it, we reworked it and added the vocals. I remember the Sunday afternoon earlier this year when we recorded the vocals. It was a bitterly cold, dark day and a storm was forecast for that evening. You could feel it brewing in the air and the vocals kind of reflect the dark, dramatic tension in the air before the storm."
(Ed) "This was one of the last tracks to come together on the record. It is probably the most complex and unique track stylistically and showcases the diverse spectrum of the sound we've been developing, from the ambient melodic passages to the all-out heavier bass driven outro. Steve initially started the track with the synth lines and unusual marimba-like riff. We then came together to restructure it and add more elements. Space was then made for some vocal lines which took the track in a new direction once again. The result of this process is a constantly progressing, experimental and building dynamic journey through our sonic landscape."
(Steve) "Sometimes music production can be a lonely and isolating creative process. This track feels like an acceptance of that notion. We wanted to keep the first section very minimal, deep and spacious but at the same time euphoric and exciting. The piano breakdown leads into a contrasting more uptempo outro whose percussion was taken from another track that we had been working on. Whispering vocals were later added to enhance its almost suffocating effect."
(Steve) "I began this track as a simple piano progression along with an arpeggiated synth, deep kick drum and bass line. Ed then developed some additional synth, ebow and organic percussion for it, which elevated it to a more energetic level. I'd recently bought a dulcimer which we also recorded to add an additional acoustic texture. It might be the most different in style of the six tracks on the record but hopefully makes a nice lighter contrast in mood to the rest."
(Steve) "As soon as we started this track, we knew it would probably be an ender. We took a more live approach, recording guitars, accordion, glockenspiel and vocals, then processing all these elements using experimental methods, such as running the accordion through a guitar amp. We wanted to make the whole track an immersive and evolving soundscape to lose yourself in so 'No Return' seemed like an appropriate title and end to the record. We wanted to create a sense of timelessness by ending with a long crescendo which gradually descends in to a wall of noise. The extended and abstract outro of field recordings and manipulated samples from the track was added to represent the idea of fleeting memories and snapshots from forgotten dreams."