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Hills - Master Sleeps CD (album) cover

MASTER SLEEPS

Hills

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.90 | 68 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Swedish band HILLS has been around for 5 years now, and they released their self-titled debut album back in 2009. "Master Sleeps" is their sophomore effort, and was issued by Swedish specialist label Transubstans Records in early spring of 2011.

Those familiar with Transubstans Records will most likely already suspect what's in store when they sign a new band. They specialize in 70's oriented rock of various kinds, with heavy psychedelic and hard prog among their specialities. Hills is a representative for a rather different flavour of music however, one most commonly described as space rock. In this case sporting quite a few heavy psych details one might add.

When that is said, there is a fair bit of variety to the proceedings in this, by modern standards, short production. In the span of less than 40 minutes we're treated to a laidback tune sporting an echoing child's voice beneath a dampened organ motif, the latter reminding quite a lot of the exploits of the late Bo Hansson (Claras Vaggvisa), title track Master Sleeps sports wandering, clean laidback psychedelic guitars as it's main component, while final track Death Shall Come opens with a dark electronic drone and layered vocals, with wandering psychedelic guitar motifs and rhythms added at the halfway point. All of them backed by hypnotic, circulating drum and bass patterns, from slow and subtle to quirky and sophisticated constructions.

And while this trio of improvised psychedelic excursions are compelling experiences, the remaining trio - consisting of Rise Again, Bring Me Sand and The Vessel respectively, are the high points of this disc. Pace-filled, hypnotic circulating rhythms is the backbone of these improvised journeys too, but here they are supplemented with compact, fluctuating droning textures. Which works extremely well to create intense, groove-laden and highly compelling psychedelic pieces of the space rock variety. Songs that take you along into inner and outer space, and in the case of Bring Me Sand with a bit more variation and even some Raga motifs towards the end.

Arguably not the most sophisticated and challenging type of music, but if you generally enjoy improvised music of the psychedelic variety and in particular droning effects and the 70's space rock mood, Hills have produced an album that will have a strong appeal to most space cadets. A highly recommended production, and a strong contender in my list of best albums of 2011.

Windhawk | 5/5 |

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