reviews round-up

My 2017 album the night is dark, the night is silent, the night is bright, the night is loud received a number of reviews in some unexpected places.

I was super pleased that one of Australia's best music writers, Kate Hennessy, selected the album for her Music you missed Guardian Australia column covering the last quarter of 2017. I love these words so much I'll quote most of the review:

Solo, he adds piano, laptop and a loop pedal to the perambulations of his trusty cell, and the variety of these compositions is pretty incredible, as though a whole cast were involved. It’s seamless, too, best evidenced when fluttering breaks only briefly rupture the tranquil surface of Begin.

Parallels are lazy but in this case, it’s illustrious company. There is The Necks on the portentous plucks of Lockstep; The Dirty Three with a dash of Arthur Russell in the rocky, amplified strings of Copra.

The song Descent does just that, sending you down into a mongrel of free jazz percussion, icy synth and a room-clearing buzz of power electronics. Untethered, meanwhile, slips under your guard by stitching together the residue of emotion that clings to fading notes.

I was very pleased to appear in the Monthly Music Wrap for October 2017, by another of our best music writers, Anwen Crawford: "Hollo’s primary instrument is cello, which he plays expansively, sometimes as a string instrument and at other times like percussion, looping the various sounds so that the album is full of darkly melancholic string melodies and assertive rhythms."

A very interesting review at Sputnik Music talks about the the album's effect on the listener's perception of time, and in summing up says: "I could reinstate that there are moments of menace lodged inside moments of earnestness, or that certain images seem to burn themselves into my retinae as I listen, but the truth is that The Night Is Dark, The Night Is Silent, The Night Is Bright, The Night Is Loud is as disorienting as it is stunning."

Sydney Scoop said "This collection of ominous and restless pieces is like bottled darkness", and helpfully described it thus: "Ostensibly a neo-classical release, but heavily influenced by ambient and industrial music, folk, and even breakbeat electronica".

Prog site It Djents singles out a few tracks: "The pacing is again marvellous, giving even the most jarring parts of 'descent' enough room to make the listener thoroughly acquainted with them; even the ending, in which the track collapses in on itself again, is tastefully and deliberately orchestrated".

The lovely folks at Norman Records have given it a write-up too: "Cello unravels as electronics hover, then flutter just when you want them to, but not necessarily as expected".

And over at a closer listen, we're told that "The album is a primer on what a cello might do when no one is looking, and how raw its notes can become".