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Fovea Hex - Bloom CD (album) cover


Fovea Hex


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars "Fovea Hex" is a mostly unheard of band centered around Clodagh Simonds who was the lead of a prog-folk band started in the 70s named "Mellow Candle". My question is, how can someone so talented at creating music scapes as Simmonds is can still be such an obscure artist even in progressive music? She has support from a wide array of artists, a veritable who's-who list of prog music; Robert Fripp, Steven Wilson, Brian Eno, to name a few. Under this name, Fovea Hex has only released a few albums and several EPs. Each time a new recording is released, the band line-up changes somewhat depending on the atmosphere being generated from the recording, however Laura Sheeren, cousin of Ed Sheeren, is also a regular member of the band along with Cora Venus Lunny who has also performed with Sinead O'Connor and Damien Rice.

In the case of "Bloom", this EP is the first of a trilogy of EP that were released collectively named "Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent". This particular EP enlists the help of Brian and Roger Eno, movie soundtrack artist Carter Burwell (The Big Lebowski and Being John Malkovich) and Andrew McKenzie (Hafler Trio). The EP only consists of 3 tracks totaling just over 17 minutes.

The music is reminiscent of the electronic/folk styles of "Current 93" in their most ambient states. And just like Current 93, the music is considered progressive electronic, and because of this, it remains hidden away from prog-folk music lovers that don't venture beyond that genre.

The EP starts with the track "Don't These Windows Open?" which is a mostly acapella track of layered wordless vocals. A main vocalist sings a lyrical melody over the top of this. The layered background vocals almost become drone-like. This is a pensive and beautiful song, and leans completely in the prog-folk realm.

The middle track is the 9 minute "We Sleep You Bloom". It starts with an ambient drone and occasional chime-like sounds. A keyboard rises out of this sound building some intensity. Harmonized, processed vocals start as a sparse sounding drone goes on underneath. Sustained notes change tones as singing continues. The feeling is icy cold, yet beautiful and expansive. The vocals are quite lovely with a siren-like quality enticing you to come closer, but do so with caution or you will be drawn into an icy grave. The music is at its most intense when there is singing, and becomes quite ambient and atmospheric when the singing stops. The music is completely immersive.

"That River" is the last track. Starting with a harmonium drone which soon turns melodic, the vocals are quite up front this time with intriguing lyrics. Again, the folk leanings are very strong in the vocal melody. After the verses, the music turns ambient and drone-like.

This music is definitely a modern art rock sound. Yes it utilizes electronics on this EP, but has a very strong folk feeling, mostly Celtic in nature, and also experimental, but not really dissonant. The harmonies are lovely, the singing and lyrics are clean and crisp, the instrumentals are minimal and fit the lyrics perfectly. The only drawback, is that it is over much too quickly. But, when combined with the other 2 EPs in the series, it makes for a perfect album. Yet even if it is only an EP, it is 4 star material.

TCat | 4/5 |


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