Mountains: Choral

CD Reviews: February 2010 – Mountains recorded it’s third release, Choral, in front of a live audience with minimal overdubs added later for effect or layering. And despite the trappings of their genre (ambient), the record feels live, not stately. The Brooklyn-based duo pays attention to the listener, quietly adding elements like a fog descending in the early morning.

The long, horizontal hum of the title track opens up the show. Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp introduce blips and muted swells of feedback and three minutes in the first masterstroke of Choral peeks through: Something like a tenor singing through bad connections tries breaking through the electronic veneer. The “voice” grows, then the one note attempts to become a melodic line before getting looped back onto itself ad nasuem. Mountains even dares to taunt you with the illusion of rhythm. A deep, round bass thud occurs fairly periodically, but it doesn’t propel the song, it floats along with it. “Choral” finally tapers off with a gauzey guitar line.

“Telescope” begins with the steady cycle of acoustic strums, like a coffee house troubadour’s next lament, as small blooms of a synthesized flute and the ominous bubbling of a phase-shifted electronic whir. And as quietly as the different elements entered, the guitar has faded away and billowing heaps of hisses float over top slow pulses, and, finally we’re left with a field recording of rainfall.

On the following track, “Add Infinity,” Anderegg and Holtkamp trade acoustic and electric guitar lines over a thin, simmering film of synthesizer buzz, alternating between droning feedback and disjointed, finger-plucked lines. The track, while pleasant, approaches cliche; it sounds like a mash up of b-sides from Brian Eno and Fennesz, before finally adding the playful blooping of vibes a little shy of the eight-minute mark and ending on an up note a minute-and-a-half later.
Mountains will be sculpting sound with TAPE and Marlow Eggplant at The Picador on Monday, February 1.



Thrill Jockey

Bookmark and Share

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.