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HLER: LGM-1: Head-Banger Review

It was ever since I was a kid when I was first terrified by Alien and became absolutely enamored by Jeffrey Thomas’s sci-fi masterpiece “Blue War” that I have been a big fan of that highly detailed science fiction that’s only done true justice on occasion. Even less often is when an act of any style can put together a listening experience the likes of which gives nothing but true glory to the entire genre of science fiction. It’s really only been Progenie Terrestre Pura and Mesarthim that have been able to do it justice, but even then there’s so much more to tap into. As if to answer my very desires, with this brand new work of some of the deepest ambient I’ve ever heard that HLER brings forth an experience I won’t soon forget.

Ambient has long been a thing that I only dip my toe into simply because of how immense the style is that I don’t want to get too lost in it and maybe lose my taste for it as well. But, when I had first heard of deep ambient, or “glacial ambient” as it was first described to me, I’d be lying if I said that my interest was not peaked. I was just confounding but simultaneously mesmerized at the sheer possibilities as to just what in the hell that would sound like. More than likely, something slow and grinding much like a glacier moving maybe inches a year. As their first release, Zero K with that new label smell immediately threw down “LGM-1” from HLER, and it really does feel as though this is a work meant to show newcomers to the substyle, like myself, the exact potential that deep ambient has without being too mind-numbing or even boring, and to say that I was greatly impressed with what was brought to the table here would be a grand understatement.

Just looking at the runtimes of each track from “LGM-1” made me wonder out loud what exactly there is that HLER could’ve busted out of the ether for songs that were fourteen minutes in length, much less even the 23-minute finale! And yet, looking back into the cosmic depths that HLER explores all throughout this wondrous piece of colorless splendor, there isn’t a single grain of what’s brought forth here that isn’t simply enamoring to say the least. The very idea of exploration and reverence of the unknown is spread into every part of “LGM-1” in such a way that it’s nigh on hypnotic with a dream-like substance constantly covering its surface. And the whole of this work is surprisingly diverse across all of its atmospheres which still leaves me confounded as to just how exactly HLER brought them to life so magnificently with one track not repeating the previous nor over-shadowing its predecessor. Whether it sounds like the soundtrack to moon dust shifting ever so slowly on some planetoid on the other side of the galaxy, more earthly drones that wonder what’s in the void, or suspenseful works like that of the stunning finale, there is virtually nothing about “LGM-1” that isn’t beautiful in just about every imaginable way. HLER should be extremely proud of what’s been pulled off here with this work for it is quite possibly the best ambient album of any kind that I’ve had the fortune of diving into, and I can still not even pull myself out of listening to it while typing this even after soaking my soul into its starlight for hours at this point.

In so many ways, this is the kind of experience I want more of whenever I think of a science fiction-influenced ambient work that just takes everything and puts it on another level entirely, and HLER has truly set a high bar with this album that I’d be more than keen to see topped for that would be something to behold all on its own. There isn’t a single speck of what’s done here with “LGM-1” that I wouldn’t whole-heartedly recommend to any person wanting to find themselves in a deep state of hibernation or even meditation for a while, and it’s by the end of this work that I can almost guarantee that your soul will feel both cleansed and as though it has gone on a journey of galactic proportions.

LISTEN to “LGM-1” on Bandcamp here.

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HLER: LGM-1 released on ZeroK records!

Zero K, a brand new label, has released a very limited edition CD-r and tape (and digital album) LGM-1 by, well, us, HLER (Heikki Lindgren & Esa Ruoho)

"When you are listening to the sound of pulsars, you are listening to actual star-size oscillators with the most minimal and longest lasting drones in the whole universe." - HLER

https://zerok.bandcamp.com/album/lgm-1

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HLER: HLER: Cassette Gods Review

Helsiniki-based sound artists Heikki Lindgren and Esa Ruoho perform as HLER, and this sort-of self-titled tape captures a live performance at E:MF 2018 (January), and also at Ampeeriklubi VI, lots of other Finnish text, etc., a month later. Now, I want you to close your eyes, press play, and pretend you’re in a planetarium or a Hadron Collider of some particular size.

Got it? OK.

Lindgren and Ruoho are expert knob-twiddlers, conjuring celestial elements with their bare hands and their synthesizer rigs. Each half-hour track (one on each side) is perfect for the spaceman facing existential danger in all of us. It’s like “HLER” was birthed in a science lab and set free to infiltrate the insecurities in every human, triggering unease wherever it alights. It’s a sinister missive from elsewhere pointed directly at us. Why? From where? Huh?

I don’t know! Stop asking questions. Just … stick your head into “HLER” and listen to it, alright?

https://hler.bandcamp.com/

--Ryan

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Lackluster (Esa Ruoho) - Various years, releases and tracks – P.2

Every composition here is a new invention. It is hard to believe that such a creation, where both intellectual contribution and intelligent approach are visible in the foreground – is not a collective work; it is the result of the efforts of One person. There is no compromise between past and present. To say, "this is modern music" is to say nothing. This is the music of the future…

Esa Ruoho: Riversmouth: Bad Alchemy review

ESA RUOHOs Riversmouth (ACM 1009, 3" CD-R) ist dröhnminimalistisch von der Quelle bis zur Mündung. Vielleicht nur weil der Finne, der als Lackluster rhythmischere Sachen macht, Finne ist, überkommt mich unterwegs die Anmutung, dass sein Klangfluss irgend- was von Sibelius mitschwemmt, den 'Schwan von Tuonela' oder den 'Valse Triste'. Etwas melancholisch Romantisches jedenfalls in homöopathischer Verdünnung. Der Strom an sich ist auch nur an der Oberfläche glatt, an der er hell schimmert. Aber da sind auch dunkle Passagen und am Grund schürft er rau. Jetzt singt es sogar etwas geisterhaft, verschleppt, zeitlupig. Oder bilde ich mir das nur ein? Nein, da singt auf jeden Fall etwas in der Tiefe, gischtig überzischt. Auch wenn die Dröhnwelle davon unberührt ihren Lauf nimmt. Zuletzt mischt sich noch eine orchestrale Welle mit ein. Ruohos Fluss hat so seine Geheimnisse.