Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Album review: HECTIC ZENITHS - Hectic Zeniths

Highlights: Then And Now, I Might Drown, Zeitschtichen, An Empty Shell (Outro)

Perhaps the first thing you notice while listening to Hectic Zeniths’ eponymous album (the project of a bedroom producer and multi-instrumentalist Adam Morgan Prince) is how intense it all sounds. Beautiful classical piano patters are intertwined with violins, samples, electronic beats, occasional flutes, guitar solos, etc. – all layered so thoughtfully and meticulously that the experience will just keep paying back with time.

Hectic Zeniths sounds a lot like a particularly complicated, self-consciously gorgeous soundtrack to a dramatic film of some considerable intensity. Not least because the album is mostly instrumental – with subtle, poignant vocals serving largely instrumental, embellishing purposes. There’s probably not much point in getting into too many details, since the album sounds so much like a multi-part suite, but I’d just note that “Zeitschtichen” with its high-pitched singing, horns, flutes and unforgettable piano lines seems to be particularly impressive. Also, “Know My List” could well be mistaken for a Sigur Ros track off Takk… Certainly no bad thing.

My usual complaint when it comes to this kind of production-centred music is that too often it lacks emotional substance. But while that may indeed be the case on Hectic Zeniths, underneath the technical brilliance of the whole thing (which took 3 years to make – and it shows) there’s some unmistakable feeling and intimacy that will keep revealing itself with further listens. Ditto for the whole record. A rewarding experience, and one well worthy of your time.


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