Off the back of turning heads with their three-track ‘Hollow Mask Illusion’ EP and their recent reimagination of The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘Sirius’, Armin van Buuren and AVIRA link up with none other than Ibiza Trance legend Chicane to reimagine one of his most revered classics. Retaining the Balearic essence of the 1996 original, this equally timeless interpretation of ‘Offshore’ pays tribute to the legacy of the genre whilst illustrating to perfection that its future has never been brighter.
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Grammy nominated artist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs releases a somber yet tantalizing new single ‘Blood In The Snow’, his first original release of 2022. The track marks a new chapter for the dynamic artist who has also announced his first album in a decade, ‘When the Lights Go’, due out later this year on his own label imprint Nice Age.
‘Blood In The Snow’ is the opening to a look inside a deeply personal journey across a ten year period in time where it’s safe to say that, both personally and globally, life has been a lot. Recorded predominantly in Orlando’s studio in Los Angeles, ‘When the Lights Go’ is his first album since 2012’s critically acclaimed ‘Trouble’. The new album marks a departure in sound, defined, of course, by the events of the last few years. Encompassing songwriting, ballads and a pop-centered aesthetic, it’s full of depth, feeling, storytelling and woe – presented in a compelling manner, as only he can.
Double bass and keyboards begin the song with a tense intro that changes course with Orlando’s haunting melodies after the one minute mark, the lyrics of ‘Blood In The Snow’ are gentle yet striking. Distorted synths bring way to the longing that can be heard in his delicate voice and come to a halting crescendo, saturated by layers of textures that crunch together. “This song is about melting glaciers and wanting a daughter, where to put love in this tailspin,” says Orlando about the track.
Haze – released via Ki Records – is Greek producer and composer, Hior Chronik’s latest creation. Aligning with his previous critically acclaimed album, Descent, Haze creates an electro-ambient world which accentuates modern classical mini- malism. It is an album which deeply embodies tranquility, fulfilment and meaningful connection, aspirations born out of Hior Chronik’s past in Athens, and realised by his relocation near to a forest in Berlin, where he can truly feel at-home, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.
Through 15 tracks, Hior Chronik guides his listeners in an immersive journey which features magical soundscapes built using DX7 and Roland synthesizers, beats from the Lofi drum machine and Volca samples. Inspired by the best of his previous work in moody electro soundscapes, alongside his own history as a listener and lover of early 90’s electronic music, artists like, Lali Puna, Solvent and Remote Viewer, this album demonstrates a new dimension to Hior Chronik’s artistry which exudes light optimism.
“Most of the times that I was recording, it was after midnight hour or early morning and I could watch the foggy atmosphere from the window of my studio. I felt somehow that it embraced the sound of this album” Track after track, this nocturnal atmosphere is forged and conveyed. The single, Make no Attempt, features beautifully smooth vocals from Singapore-based artist, Thistlemorse, who also collaborated with Hior Chronik on the lyrics. The track, like the rest of the album, perpetuates the comfort Hior Chronik finds in the natural world, a major source of inspiration throughout his career, with many of the track’s titles referencing things such as forests, clouds and escape. “I recently moved a bit outside the city to be closer to the forest. Living nearer to nature makes me feel complete – I feel inspired in this well-protected
place full of subtle sounds, where the trees smell like incense in a shrine”. Differing from most of his previous compositions however, the song holds a more up-beat, pop feel, which reflects Hior Chronik’s refusal to dwell on regrets, and his spontaneous, improvised approach to both life and music. His experimental and adventurous nature reveals itself through his desire to cross the usual borders laid out between genres, find new sounds and integrate unique styles, “Life becomes so much more interesting this way,” says the artist.
Created in the midst of isolation and loneliness, Haze harnesses these difficult feelings and transforms them into an exhibition of optimism and hope. Hior Chronik himself describes Haze as one of his most positive albums yet and, despite the general nocturnal mood, it reemphasizes what we can occasionally forget – there is always a dawn after the darkness. Haze’s fourth track, Trigger, offers a richly-textured, sophisticated composition which is augmented by melodic strings. On this track, Hior Chronik worked with vocalist and musician, Mohna. Despite the distance between them when making the track, Hior Chronik stated, “We always felt so close”.
Berlin-based, Lilla Clara, features on Sad Swan, a masterfully balanced track which embraces the listener in soft vocals, warm chord progressions and laidback beats. Again, despite the wistful vocal, there’s plenty of space for hopeful dreaming on the track, and even perhaps some gentle dancing.
Other esteemed artists featured on the album include the likes of fellow Berlin-based musicians Aparde, Christian Grothe and Teamforest. Collaboratively, they constructed Haze into a rich and eclectic journey, lavish in sounds, styles and feelings. Hior Chronik’s environment has always played a big role in his musical output. From his music-filled childhood in Athens, to stints as a radio producer for JazzFm, through to his new home in Berlin, the capital of techno, the producer’s sound has always been influenced by the emotional qualities of his settings. It seems that with Haze, an album brimming with a sense of tranquility and meaningful connection, Hior Chronik has finally found where he belongs. Happy Here exalts this feeling of fulfilment, which is so tangible throughout the entire album. “Since I have moved here, I feel more optimistic. After so many years, I’m finally able to say that to myself.”
- Strange days
- Sad swan (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Don’t speak so I can hear you
- Once again I felt I wanna escape
- Mind fog (feat. Aparde)
- What’s wrong with you
- Forest (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Bench and cats
- Happy here (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Make no attempt (feat. Thistlemorse)
- Take your jacket with you
- Cloud peels (feat. Lilla Clara)
Buy the Album ‘Haze’ : https://hiorchronik.bandcamp.com/album/haze