Mountains is Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, two sonic explorers whose long history, shared philosophies, and love of sculpting sound, has resulted in some of the most densely layered and blissful music crafted in recent memory. The duo is known for obscuring the boundaries between acoustic instrumentation and electronics. Their debut Thrill Jockey release Choral was universally critically acclaimed, sold through three LP pressings, and ended up being one of the label’s best selling releases of 2009, a remarkable achievement.
Air Museum blurs the lines between acoustic and electronic music even more without sacrificing melody or the delicacy of their sound. It is an album of firsts. It was the first album that the acoustic instruments were not processed via a computer. Instead, the processing of the instrumentation (acoustic and electric guitar, cello, accordion, piano, bass etc.) was done using a variety of pedals, modular synths, and other analog techniques. While acoustic instruments were used extensively, the album manifests itself sonically as their most “electronic” record yet. Air Museum is also their first record that was made in a studio. Working in the studio expanded their possibilities, giving more room for experimentation. While much of the album was recorded in real time with minor editing, the band took the opportunity to utilize the studio as an instrument of sorts, investing a great amount of time in customizing their approach to post-production. Air Museum was recorded at Telescope Recording, in Brooklyn, New York, between December 2010 and January 2011, with the exception of “Blue Lanterns On East Oxford” which was recorded in Philadelphia in the spring of 2010 and “Live At The Triple Door”, an edit of a live performance that took place in Seattle at the 2009 Decibel Festival.
Since returning from European and American tours for Choral, Mountains has been concentrating on the assembly of new systems to create and perform without the use of a computer. Air Museum is the first result of these efforts. It is less reliant on long linear crescendos, focusing more on rhythmic interplay and dynamic changes. Like their previous work it retains the energy and the expansiveness born of improvisation.
Mountains is also taking a new approach to their live performance, utilizing many of the techniques they developed while working on Air Museum. For their new live set, Mountains has created a patch that will enable their electronics to sync up at various times, so while the musicians react to one another musically, given the right parameters, the machines can react to one another as well.
Through their multi-textural and subtly shifting approach, Mountains has garnered much praise from audiences and critics alike. “Holtkamp and Anderegg deliver a kind of 21st century folk music - one that's immersed in the aesthetics of modern technology yet retains a very natural, very approachable sound. Absolutely gorgeous music” (Boomkat).
Mountains is Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, two sonic explorers whose long history, shared philosophies, and love of
sculpting sound, has resulted in some of the most densely layered and blissful music crafted in recent memory. The duo is known for obscuring the boundaries between acoustic instrumentation and electronics....more