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Codes In The CLouds are an instrumental 5-piece apparently from Dartford, but I’m just going to say London because they seem to spend more time here than there. They are signed to brilliant little label Erased Tapes, also home to the British Expeditionary Force, Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. They haven’t been around for long but have definitely made their presence known on the London scene, and, maybe to a lesser extent, on the entire UK scene. Following the release of their first record they toured with now post-rock legends This Will Destroy You and recently went on a small headline tour through the UK with Barn Owl and Katerwaul (worth checking out!).
‘Paper Canyon’ is their debut full-length album and despite coming across as a little easy at first, this record soon becomes a brilliantly subtle delight, going from bright uplifting songs to dreamy ambient numbers, to others filled with a deep sense of lament. It is so easy and common for post-rock bands to makes 2-dimensional records, only expressing the teenage-like solitude and angst part of the spectrum of human emotions. However, after seeing them live on many occasions, Codes In The Clouds stand out from the crowd of post-rockers as a band who express that but also happiness, hope and above all sincerity. It is when you realise that Paper Canyon does in fact have these powerful highs and lows that the record begins to make sense and the subtle authenticity within it comes out and sucks you back in along for the ride.
The opening track ‘Fractures’ sets the scene for a pleasant, dreamy frame of mind, then ‘Don’t Go Awash In This Digital Landscape’ hits with a relentless force, which carries on through until the epic finale of ‘Distant Street Lights’. ‘We Anchor In Hope’ is a charming uplifting waltz perfectly suited to the aftermath of the previous songs and ‘The Distance Between Us’ closes the album on a very powerful, hesitant, yet positive note.
Although it may seem like an obvious thing, the statement on their myspace that says ‘we like playing pretty music’ is strangely exact, and completely sums them up once you’ve fully absorbed the record.
Their eagerly anticipated follow up LP should be out by the end of this year so keep a look out and make sure you catch them live if they play in a town near you.
Although my interest in and appreciation of ambient music rarely goes beyond the genius of Eno and Stars Of The Lid, Dunn’s work captures a similar essence and provides a magical sonic space ideal for reflection and immersion. His most recent release: A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn (AYPGKBD) is extremely minimal and may not suit people who aren’t fans of the genre already, but serves as a great platform for those of you looking to explore it.
As a piece of sonic landscape or sound design, AYPGKBD is wonderfully put together merging many different textures which glide steadily and infinitely in the realms of abstraction. If it catches you in the right frame of mind, it carries you straight off into a world of your own making 2 hours seem like 2 minutes. Before you know it you’ll be putting the album back to the beginning for further introspection.
Dunn leads to believe that people who say that you can’t be in more than one place at a time, are wrong.
I stumbled upon this brilliant instrumental 3-piece last night (19/06/10) at The Good Ship, London. Defo worth a listen! MHDH go to show just how versatile instrumental bands can be- think Battles crossed with Foals, with a spoonful of noise. Seeing yet another 3 talented, ballsy musicians go down the instrumental route gives me a lot of faith in our generation of emerging artists, and makes me wonder; How amazing would it be if MHDH played a club night alongside other instrumental trios: Brontide, The Good The Bad and Saiga (if I may say so myself)…?! Like a ‘Battle of the Speechless Loud Guitar Freaks’
Where Brontide are mathy, proggy and heavy, MHDH are a little more danceable without losing the filth of entire-pedal-board-go feedback and tasty 7/4
One of the best EPs I’ve heard by a unsigned band for a while, download their debut ‘ABCDEP’ HERE!
Anyway, catch them again at the last Sweet Beans club night taking place at Bardens Boudoir in Dalston on Thurs 24th June (facebook event). Sweet Beans always have amazing bands from start to finish so I highly recommend the night. S’what happens when promoters put on gigs for music and fan’s sake before anything else.