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Human Greed - Black Hill : Midnight at the Blighted Star CD

Human Greed - Black Hill : Midnight at the Blighted Star CD

An excellent new album from the duo of Michael Begg (from Fovea Hex)& Deryk Thomas. Guests contributions from David Tibet (c93), Clodagh Simonds (Fovea Hex, Mellow Candle), Julia Kent (Antony & the Johnsons, Blind Cave Salamander) and Fabrizio Palumbo (Larsen, Blind Cave Salamander). Quite difficult to describe, as it moves through many different areas, drones, edgy electronics, melodic passages & pure abstraction. But it all holds together & works very well. REVIEW FROM BRAINWASHED : Human Greed, "Black Hill: Midnight at the Blighted Star" Written by John Kealy Sunday, 18 January 2009 The third album from Michael Begg and Deryk Thomas explores the moods and sounds of the witching hour: deep, dark chasms of sound littered with shimmering tones that dot the music like stars on a night sky. This album is good by day but playing it during the still, cold hours of early morning reveal a different hallucinatory creature. Instruments morph out of recognizable shapes into extended timbres and tones, voices call from somewhere beyond and an uneasy sorrow permeates the music. Black Hill occupies a realm that is somewhere between the gorgeous drones of Stars of the Lid and the haunting and solemn “Symphony No. 3” by Henryk Górecki. However, unlike the aforementioned artists, listening to Black Hill is like listening to a radio that cannot stay on one frequency for more than a few minutes before drifting into some other equally compelling broadcast from who knows where. No piece ends distinctly, the various tracks all fade into each other but change enough for it to be obvious when a new piece has begun. This bleeding of music into itself forces the listener to commit the album as a whole. This is something that has been lacking in this “I’ll just grab a couple of tracks from the net and see what I think” age. That being said, there are segments of Black Hill that stick out above the rest as being especially moving. The organ-like dirge of “Portrait of God with Broken Toys” seems to erupt from the speakers with a huge amount of force. It is an overpowering feeling like being stuck in a massive cathedral that is shaking itself apart during a performance of a particularly moving requiem. Elsewhere, the music has a gentler quality; “Dalkeith Night” has a light, airy feel to the piano while David Tibet recites a few words. He is one of a few special guests on the album: Julia Kent plays cello, Fabrizio Palumbo from Larsen is credited with treatments and vocals and Begg’s compatriot in Fovea Hex, Clodagh Simonds, lends her voice and piano playing to the album. Thomas’ paintings must be mentioned. As well as being half of Human Greed, Thomas has also painted the iconic bunnies on Swans’ White Light from the Mouth of Infinity album and more recently the cover of The Angels of Light’s We Are Him. His apocalyptic nursery rhyme style painting that graces the cover of Black Hill continues the theme of those previous great album sleeves. Kittens, skeletons and catastrophic ruin provide a warning to all who listen to the album; this is not music to chill out to after a night on the tiles. This is powerful stuff and takes a while to fully digest it. The oily darkness that the music conjures up gets deeper and deeper with every listen, a resonant and otherworldly tremor that is at once human and sublime. Review from Vital Weekly 684 HUMAN GREED - BLACK HILL: MIDNIGHT AT THE BLIGHTED STAR (CD by Lumberton Trading Company) Maybe a release with the help of David Tibet, Clodagh Simonds, Fabrizio Palumbo and Julia Kent might not be the sort of thing I would want to sort out, but I only found that out after I heard Human Greed's third album 'Black Hill: Midnight At The Blighted Star'. Human Greed is a duo of Michael Begg and Deryk Thomas, and instruments are not given for them. The guests however contribute cello, voice, treatments and piano. I assume both Begg and Thomas are responsible for the electronics part of this project. The voices used are merely pushed to the background and seem to be reciting a small text every now and then. The piano and cello form nice counterparts in the ambient mass of sound, and warm interludes. This music, despite the occasional use of voices, is mainly instrumental music. Lots of sound effects, lots of atmospherics are captured here and as such resemble everything from Brian Eno to any and none in particular movement in the world of ambient music. Sometimes too forceful to be truly spacious, and sometimes with a sudden stop or change, but that adds, I think, to the quality of the album. Though not entirely new in approach, it takes the best from various directions in ambient music and makes a very nice hybrid form of it. (FdW)

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