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Review: 'Broads & Milly Hirst'

-  Label: 'Humm Recordings/bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: '6.3.20.'

Our Rating:
Ollust is a concept album about Broads Norfolk home and the county they live in. It is Broads third album and this time it's all analogue including the synth's.

The album opens with Happisburgh a slow gentle mainly piano piece that has a really minimalist feel to it and like much of the album it has a lot in common with Low Bias' album The Ash And The Oak as about four minutes in the gentle hissing and humming comes in to take us deep into a barren landscape that Milly Hirst then walks across and says thank you before the piano resumes.

Thetford is slow piano wanderings until about halfway through when the percussion kicks in and it becomes more of a minimal techno soundscape with the feeling of the wind whipping though as the crackly sounds appear like you can hear the electricity from the pylons marching across the landscape.

Oulton takes us further into the wilderness from its almost hymn like opening and Milly Hirst providing the voices of the angels coming from on high as the church bells start to ring a very Sunday Morning tune.

Octagon has some gentle buzzing sounds against the carefully plotted piano evoking a wide open space with a tractor driving through it as the voices can be heard in the distance this is gently effective.

Strangers has the most minimal piano so far on the album, as it feels like the Strangers are walking towards each other, from a distance on a deserted broad, with only a few birds for company as they wonder what the other person is like the closer they get to crossing paths. As the swirling noises increase to sort of soundtrack the encounter. This central part of the 11 minute piece starts to sound like one of E.A.R.'s Thomas Koner Experiments, which makes for a rather uncomfortable encounter. Then they have obviously parted and the piano seems to signal they are moving further way from each other.

The album closes with Dereham that sounds totally unlike Dereham was the last time I went there with odd synth noises and weird shards of sound as if somethings gone wrong and what sounds like some things collapsing against the almost Tardis like sound rather strange and intriguing.

Find out more at https://broadsofnorfolk.bandcamp.com/album/ollust-lp https://hummrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/broads-milly-hirst-ollust-lp-humm11 https://www.facebook.com/Broadsofnorfolk
  author: simonovitch

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