Posted by: will | July 20, 2007


Horeseback “Impale Golden Horn” (Burly Time)


Definition of Drone Music from Wikipedia: Drone music, also known as drone-based music, drone ambient or ambient drone, dronescape or dronology, and sometimes simply as drone, is a musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained sounds, notes, or tones-clusters – called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics.

Horseback is the project of musician Jenks Miller and for all intensive purposes what he creates on his debut, Impale Golden Horn, is drone music. However, the four songs here deal in more ambient atmospheres and encompass more vitality than most drone-based music. In basic terms, Impale Golden Horn is “pretty” so to speak.

What is so interesting about Impale Golden Horn (besides the music of course) is the origin of the album. Miller has battled obsessive-compulsive disorder for 15 years now. Impale Golden Horn is a deliberate reaction to, and an audio painting of, Miller’s fear of blood. The album was improvised and recorded in a basement in Chapel Hill, NC over a three year period. I can imagine the project was a love/hate relationship for Miller considering his disorder. However, it is that perfectionist quality that Miller possesses that lifts Impale Golden Horn from the boring doldrums that saddles a great deal of ambient/drone music.

Impale Golden Horn‘s four songs run close to 50 minutes in length. Each song retains its own personality while always connecting perfectly to the next movement. Miller’s attention to detail is astonishing as he builds and deconstructs his instrumental tales. The songs lull you into a blissful dream-like state before slowly bringing you back into consciousness. The last track, “Blood Fountain”, even adds somber vocals to the fray. Impale Golden Horn is a practice in patience and perseverance for the listener just as much as it is for Miller. It is that special bond that is created that allows Horseback to achieve such monumental heights.

RIYL: Fennesz, Belong, Tim Hecker

Listen: Horseback – Finale (mp3)


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