Mountains, Choral (Thrill Jockey)

The Mountains are back with an album full of electro and acoustic compositions layered with found sounds for the aptly titled Choral.

Many parts make for beautiful nothings
Melodies patiently erupt from the empty spaces Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp draw with the washes of electronic sound, processed field recordings and fleeting acoustics that make up their third album as Mountains. Subtle contradictions abound as the crystalline serenity of the expansive compositions belies the countless layers used in their formation. Moments of stillness come from the gathering of these noises, each stirring with a barely perceptible perpetual motion. The sounds are enormous, but the album was recorded in the band''s Brooklyn home in as live a manner as possible. Of course before being able to perform their compositions Anderegg and Holtkamp put in plenty of prep time collecting samples and discovering new source material. “Map Table” mixes acoustic guitars with sounds gleaned from ice water and the percussive textures of a book''s flipped pages, while “Telescope” ambles and swells with sounds taken from a desert thunderstorm hidden in the mix of windswept organs, meandering guitars and other placidly arranged noises. Even the melting drones of harsh feedback crafted into “Add Infinity” become a crashing surf of white noise with a calming sensibility. Seemingly limitless, but weighing nothing, these songs hide boundless intricacies beneath their plain facades. [4.5 out of 5 stars]