Hidden Orchestra “To Dream Is To Forget”

Artist: Hidden Orchestra
Title: To Dream Is To Forget
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Lone Figures
Genre: Experimental
Release Date: 22/09/2023

Since its inception, producer and composer Joe Acheson has carefully developed Hidden Orchestra from a simple initial project concept of ‘an imagined orchestra’ into something that has flourished into a widespan musical universe of its own, that is truly unlike anything else. 

After multiple albums with respected independent label Tru Thoughts, continued support from the likes of The Guardian, BBC6Music, FIP, JazzFM, several awards for innovative soundtrack work intertwined with AI and consistent global touring of an energetic and intriguing live show featuring two duelling drummers, their reach and influence has swollen to make them one of the highest regarded names in independent music today and has even led to collaborations beyond the world of music, with The British Library, Kew Gardens and National Trust all enlisting Acheson for unique installation projects. Yet regardless of the current brief in front of him, the initial mission statement to ‘create electronic music with acoustic means’ remains.  

Acheson achieves this task with aplomb, conjuring intricate yet expansive worlds of sound, built in collaboration with a select core of talented musicians, combined with Acheson’s bespoke samples, field recordings, and carefully honed composition and arrangement sensibilities. Detail and craftsmanship are at the core of everything he does, even musically directing a diverse array of instrumentalists to capture unique samples of both improvised and scored nature. This ingenious approach really sets his work apart from the crowd and allows Acheson’s artistic vision to come to life exactly as intended.

While new album To Dream Is To Forget certainly maintains this mission statement, it does also bring about a sea change for the project on a few fronts. Released via Acheson’s own newly formed Lone Figures imprint, the musical direction for the record involved a concerted effort to condense musical themes and ideas into more immediate arrangements, with less utilisation of field recordings than previously released material. 

Predominantly sticking to this ethos has indeed meant an average track length reduction throughout, however there is still the same high level of musicality and no shortage of ideas within this rich collection of 10 original tracks. 

A familiar cast of contributors return – with long term members Jamie Graham (drums), Tim Lane (drums), and Poppy Ackroyd (violin) all present, alongside newer personnel – Jack McNeill (clarinet) and Rebecca Knight (cello) all helping to realise Acheson’s musical vision. 

The album title is taken from a line by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa – “No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake.”

And this seems an apt calling card for a collection that draws influence from a fantastic and diverse array of places. Musically at any given point you are as likely to hear sounds akin to Max Cooper or Four Tet as you are Stravinsky, Debussy, and Ravel

With the idea of ‘reimagining’ playing a key role in the creation of the project, the title track leans into the overarching concept and nature of dreams reworking everyday experience into new subconscious stories… 

Pulling inspiration from almost everywhere Acheson explains: I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever heard, a lot of these sounds aren’t inherently musical, but I’ll try to find something with a musical quality within it. I also like the intentions of a lot of sacred choral music, creations that look upwards, this has a big aesthetic influence on the way I try to create.” 

1. Hammered   
2. Little Buddy Move    
3. Skylarks   
4. Nightfall   
5. Scatter   
6. Ripple   
7. Broken   
8. Cage Then Brick   
9. Reverse Learning    
10. To Dream Is To Forget

Official: www.hiddenorchestra.com 
Bandcamp: https://hiddenorchestra.bandcamp.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/hidden_orchestra 
Facebook: https://facebook.com/HiddenOrchestra 

Download press assets here

Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving “Oscillating Forest”

Artist: Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving
Title: Oscillating Forest
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Bird’s Robe Records/ Dunk! Records
Distribution: MGM
Genre: Post-Metal/ Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 04/08/2023

Inspired by the sounds, intensity, emotion and life-cycles of the bush of the south-west of Australia, Oscillating Forest is a reconstruction of the harsh and varied landscape in audio form. As with the sounds and seasons of nature, the textures and tones captured here oscillate, pulse and modulate in a way that is not linear, predictable or safe; Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving guides the listener through a terrain where danger and beauty are found and contrasted around every turn. 

Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving composed the album in the mould of an hour-long live set – a free flowing piece of music, ignoring the constraints of standalone songs and traditional structures. Instead, each track is complementary to what comes before and after it, a constant transfer of searing energy and emotion, a cycle of constantly building and destroying itself. 

Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving recorded Oscillating Forest in 2021 and 2022 at Studio Sleepwalker’s Dread in North Dandalup, Western Australia. This was a period of intense inspiration for the band, the first  album written with Gracie Smith on drums – and second with Paul Briggs on guitar. There is a telling shift in energy and dynamics captured here – the chemistry and cohesion between Smith, Briggs and founding members Ron Pollard and Luke Pollard presented the opportunity to push further down the path of improvisation than previously captured on other Tangled records. Large swathes of the album were recorded live, with sections of improvisation punctuated by more purposefully layered movements.   

The artwork by South African artist Caitlin Mkhasibe further explores these themes of chaotic energy and space in the form of a conceptual view of Oscillating Forest, marked in map form. The lines, contours, terrains, textures, detail and intersections of trails echo the intertwining tracks of the record. 

1. Sudden Peril   
2. Ghost Albatross   
3. Twin Snakes In The Curvature   
4. Seep Into   
5. Lake Orb Altar 
6. Trinket Forest   
7. Lamprey Strings   
8. Bush Wallaby   
9. Folded Into   
10. The Mantle   
11. Oscillating Forest

Official: http://tangledthoughtsofleaving.com 
Bandcamp: https://ttol.bandcamp.com/album/oscillating-forest 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/tangledtol   
Facebook: https://facebook.com/TangledThoughtsOfLeaving
Label: https://birdsrobe.com

Download press assets here

Hemina “Romancing The Ether”

Artist: Hemina
Title: Romancing Together
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Bird’s Robe Records
Distribution: MGM
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: 11/08/2023

Get ready to embark on a mind-bending journey with Hemina‘s fifth album, Romancing The Ether, the epic conclusion to their conceptual story that has spanned their entire back catalogue. Explore the continuation of the adolescent’s story from Night Echoes, the child of the characters developed in their previous albums, SyntheticNebulae, and Venus. This album delves into the innermost motivations of family, meaning, and belonging through a psychological and spiritual journey. The 35-minute track is divided into 6 movements, each exploring the depths of the human psyche in a unique way.

Romancing The Ether is a genre-bending experience that draws influences from neo-soul, world music, ambient, and psytrance. The result is a cathartic musical journey that is as uplifting as it is dark and visceral.

The Australian progressive melodic metal quarter have earned a cult following for their signature syncopated grooves and multi-part vocal harmonies. The new album sees them pushed to their limits – it features over 100 part choral vocal arrangements and for the first time, live orchestral strings and 8-string guitars.

Hemina have shared the stage with international bands like Opeth, Haken, Queensryche, Protest the Hero, Kamelot, Apocalyptica, and Uriah Heep, as well as Australian legends like Caligula’s Horse, Chaos Divine, Voyager, Twelve Foot Ninja, Toehider, and Teramaze. They have also performed internationally at Progpower Europe (Netherlands) and Euroblast (Germany).

Their previous four albums were met with critical acclaim and showcased the band’s versatility and range. With Romancing The EtherHemina has once again paired with audiophile mastering engineer extraordinaire Ermin Hamidovic at Systematic Productions (Periphery, Devin Townsend, Plini, Architects) delivering their most polished, dynamic production to date.

Accompanied by an immersive full-length album visualiser, the record serves as a multimedia experience to transport listeners to another world, at a time when a temporary escape is sorely needed.

Romancing The Ether is out on Friday 11 August through Bird’s Robe Records. The band will embark on a series of tour dates during 2023, beginning with shows in Sydney & Canberra, joining long time friends and recent Eurovision finalists VOYAGER.

1. Romancing The Ether

Official: https://hemina.com.au 
Bandcamp: https://hemina.bandcamp.com 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heminaofficial
Facebook: https://facebook.com/heminamusic
Label: https://birdsrobe.com

Download press assets here