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Robert Haigh

Darkling Streams

(Primary Numbers; US: 17 Sep 2013; UK: Import)

Modern classical piano at its best

It would be impossible not to liken Darkling Streams to music by many neo and modern classical composers. Barely reverberated keys float through the minimalist chords to construct vapors of beauty, tranquility and lull. Subtle arpeggios, appearing in similar tonalities, sprinkle the album with patience and poise. Walking keys across abstract and chromatic scales remind me, of course, of works by Ryuichi Sakamoto, and there is an essence of the last breath by Erik Satie, Henryk Gorecky, and even John Cage. Finally, when the synth   line comes in, I recall minimalist pieces by Brian Eno, Harold Budd and Steve Reich. Yet in the 90s Robert Haigh was credited with developing ‘ambient drum’n'bass’ via his lauded Omni Trio project. So how was I to know that at once I would fall in love? Another gem from that mysterious Primary Numbers label, already responsible for favorite works by Aidan Baker and Jack Dangers.

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Remaining anonymous is important to the founder of Headphone Commute, one of the most influential independent magazines covering electronic, experimental and instrumental music. This anonymity affords the mysterious 'HC' the luxury of staying true to the writer's opinion and acts as a safeguard to prevent the ego getting in the way of the one thing that counts: music. After 6 years, 500 reviews and over 200 interviews, HC decided to expand and contribute to PopMatters. HC is currently an official media partner for Songkick Detour, Decibel Festival and Mixcloud. You can follow more musings and finds on Facebook or Twitter @H_C


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