Album: Mountains, Choral (Thrill Jockey)

The Independent's chief rock critic gives an exclusive preview of this month’s releases
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The Independent Culture

Brooklyn-based duo Mountains sculpt slowlyevolving soundscapes on the terrain where postrock meets the minimalist experiments of LaMonte Young and Terry Riley.

The title-track of this third album opens like one of the latter’s keyboard drone pieces, with various elements – a tinkly keyboard figure, a few percussive rattles, a looming vocal hum, etc – added slowly as it proceeds; “Map Table” follows a similar formula with different instrumentation, in this case cyclical guitar arpeggios and electric piano.

Elsewhere, “Add Infinity” is an Eno-esque ambient shimmer, while “Melodica” features finger-cymbals and tiny bells prominently.

The most satisfying of these six pieces is “Telescope”, in which strummed guitar and an accordion or organ drone furnish a curious folk/minimalist crossover blend, with everything gradually subsumed under a wash of white noise, like sand grains blown away by the wind.

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