Reviving Geographic North's 'Sketch for Winter' cassette series and launching the label's 2016 output, Mark Van Hoen ushers in Sketch for Winter V: It's Not Me, a six-song suite tailored for the season's frostbitten aesthetic.
Van Hoen has been behind of some of the most emotionally-driven electronic music produced in the last three decades. Under a slew of solo aliases (Locust, W.F.O.) and revered collaborations (Seefeel, Scala, Black Hearted Brother), the England by way of Los Angeles producer's work has been highlighted on such hallowed labels as Touch, Editions Mego, R&S/Apollo, City Centre Offices, and the Tapeworm.
"It's Not You (In A Way)" leads the set with a dimly-lighted waltz around some forebodingly anonymous obelisk. Van Hoen choreographs the eerie ritual in a darkly seductive light, illuminating curious curves and revealing deeply emotional arcs along the way. "City of Dust" beams itself into the stratosphere, floating in a digitally-stricken haze and seemingly spiritually directly by Andrei Tarkovsky. "Noise Blues" closes out the A-side in a dreary drift of sultry, atmospheric tones, echoing through a desolate jazz bar that's been heartbroken but quietly content for years.
The B-side continues to ruffle through Van Hoen's wintry landscape, but in much more abstract terms. "Frontier Song" catalogs a number of lost souls stranded on a celestial plane, speaking to the highs and lows of each individual searcher in an amalgamation of hope and loss. "XMas" processes the yuletide magic into a cascading wash of glittering texture, while closer "The Fall" dives completely into oblivion, collapsing in on itself in a glorious smear of retreating sound.
released January 26, 2016
All titles composed by Mark Van Hoen (Touch Music/Fairwood Music)
℗ 2015 Mark Van Hoen
all rights reserved