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Music review: Fovea Hex – Huge Ep April 19, 2008

Posted by ashiah in old.
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This might sound a bit strange, but the first thing I thought of when listneing to Huge Ep was Legend; you know, that ’80s movie starring Tom Cruise. Not to say this album is overflowing with unicorns and pixie dust like the film, but the music here reminded me of the soundtrack done by Tangerine Dream.

Although currently Tangerine Dream is taking a dive into the world of New Age (ugh), they used to be pioneers in ambient music and did some stunning soundtracks in their heyday. In a way, Fovea Hex (a collaborative band that fuses electronics, film compositions and ambiance) sounds like what the current Tangerine Dream should sound like. So pardon my strange comparison, but ask any Tangerine Dream fan and they could probably spot the similarities, too. But trust me, this is all a good thing.

Fovea Hex is a collaboration between Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Andrew McKenzie of Hafler Trio, composer Carter Burwell and a trio of talented singers. With so many heads crammed into this project, it would be easy for an album like this to feel cluttered and eclectic, but Huge Ep is the opposite. Huge Ep manages to stay quiet, restrained, and burrowing with subtle brilliance. It’s modern, but has an old ancient soul; it’s electronic, but also traditional folk.

“Huge (The Joy of Trouble)” is a trembling atmospheric opening that is accompanied by Clodagh Simonds’ striking voice. The song could easily be on the soundtrack for a nameless dramatic film. After the strings kick in on the second half, the song stops building and simply marinates for a while and dissolves into “A Song for Madga.” This is the shortest track, but the most pensive, allowing electronics to swell and shrink beneath the gentle vocals. Last track “While You’re Away” is where my Tangerine Dream reference sprouted from. It reminds me of a moodier “Love By The Sun,” and the vocals sound alike, too.

The ambient genre flourished in the ’80s, so it’s easy for modern ambient music to somehow awaken memories of older music. But Huge Ep is a forward stepping album, but cunningly disguises itself from that. Those brilliant tricksters.

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