Koen Holtkamp is one half of Mountains and this solo album - a standalone four-track release - reflects his work within that duo.
Motion is cinematic and somewhat overwhelming - the kind of blissful music that will surround and envelop you in warm electronic bliss, seemingly full of nothing in particularly and yet simultaneously constructed purely out of detail.
I've recently been conducting guided meditation on my morning commute - the idea is that by clearing your head of distraction and focusing only on 'the moment' you become calmer and less distracted generally. Listening to Holtkamp's music feels a little bit like taking part in one of those sessions - you reach a point where through concentrating so much on the detail you can end up is a strange heightened state. This is music to become lost within.
Holtkamp's synth work is quite mesmerizing, the spectral syncopated melodies of Between Visible Things underscored with a contemplative series of bass line chord progression to offset complexity from some full of emotional resonance. It is in this chaos that the album's title makes most sense.
Vert is a similarly shifting moment of frenetic chaos fronted by aggressive electronic guitar work that placed here amongst all the other noise feels strikingly raw, and yet ultimately make from the same stuff: all this electricity. Crotales is a little more relaxed than anything else on Motion, placing 'pure' synthetic noise alongside synthetic versions of real instruments (those titular percussive crotales, an upright bass).
The entire second side of this release is taken up by Endlessness, a track more than 21-minutes long on which Holtkamp allows his mind to run riot and yours to expand. Expect a cacophonous and layered ambient piece that somehow still manages to remain somewhat listenable. It is unlikely to get much radio play but as a experimental and sensory experience Motion delivers.
Motion is released through Thrill Jockey on 24 March. You can pre-order the album on LP, or the extended Motion: Connected Works CD, both on Amazon.co.uk [affiliate links]. Check out the video for Endlessness below: