Haruki is the pseudonym of composer/sonic artist Boris Snauwaert from Ghent, Belgium, who creates sonic environments through the precise, meditated amalgamation of a diverse variety of sounds, both musical and non-musical. In any given track Haruki combines any or all sound sources; field recordings, acoustic instruments, acoustic noises, found samples, sampled instruments and so on.
Now that we have that covered, we may as well talk about the album itself right? Well the truth is, this bio really does cover the work of Haruki rather well, as ambiguous as it is. Haruki’s work is so open and various, its hard to keep up but keep up I have and been a fan of his work for a long time now. Falling is probably the deepest NKR release to date, maybe one of the deepest records to emerge in a long time. Lots a bass instruments are used such as tuba, double bass, and the ilk, alongside some circuit bent keyboards, piano, stomp boxes, field recordings, among other things. This gives it a wonderfully organic feel and development, and unlike a lot of laptop-based music, its much more live sounding, perhaps an appropriate background being a seedy Brussels bar (I do love Brussels at night). Haruki continues to push open the envelopes around him in the broodiest of ways.
“Whilst Haruki may occupy the same general musical territory as offthesky, there are a few distinctive points of separation, as the guttural bottom end of opening track ‘Shrinking Cities’ makes abundantly clear. The strident and visceral ‘When To Stumble and When To Fall’ also moves into a much more cinematic and (in places) noir-ish sphere. The humming bass tones give this release a weighty punch, and any of the four pieces could sit alongside releases of any exponent of restrained dark ambient with dignity. “So, Now We’re Even’, despite its vindictive name, is a more emotionally even piece – less oppressive than some that precede it, doing a good job of clearing the sound palette before rumbling closer ‘Tall As Tails’”. – Fluid Radio
Bridge Carols is the meeting of two artists with unique timeless approaches to music. Neo-Americana folk singer Laura Gibson is gifted with a soft and singular voice (not unlike the voices of Josephine Foster and Joanna Newsom) and writes songs that could date back a century or foretell a future rural life. Electronician Ethan Rose is vested in antiquated instruments and technologies – a sonic recycler who, out of the old, has been creating a new form of ambient music.
The compilation features 12 tracks from some of the globe’s most talented sound-designers. It is a subtly rewarding headphone listen from start to finish; curated and ordered to purposefully induce a state of sleep. Starting off minimally, gradually gathering tone and atmosphere, the experience goes on without ever boiling over or reaching a crescendo. Parts of the album are light and restful whereas traces of it tread darker territory. All in all, the imagery that the album conjurs sits perfectly as a soundtrack to the dreams one experiences during a nights sleep.
I first came across Marihiko Hara’s work in 2007, with his ‘Cesura’ release on the excellent Italian net-label – Zymogen. It really drew me in more than most other work that was doing the rounds at the same time. It had the sort of organic details and attention to beautiful subtle developments that I had only really heard in offthesky and Nicolas Bernier before (both label mates on Zymogen I should add). It became my soundtrack to that year and an album I returned to almost daily during the winter months. After this I followed Marihiko’s work carefully, from his rather fantastic 2009 ‘Icon’ release on Cotton Goods to his recent ‘Prosa’ collaboration with Tomas Phillips on Tench Records.