23 Aug 2021 - Thorsten
Post-Rock, Dark Folk, Electronica, Psychedelia | Pelagic Records | Release date: 27 Aug 2021
”Let The Earth Be Silenced By Night” – that’s one translation for the title of Horte‘s new album Maa Antaa Yön Vaientaa. An ambiguous title as we will see later, but one thing should already be clear: This band’s closest label-mate is more likely Oslo Tapes and less probable Psychonaut. Thus is should also be clear that this is one of Pelagic Records’ more experimental records.
Horte is a Finnish quartet and as such it’s the first one on Berlin Post-music progressors Pelagic Records (with NYOS being signed in the meantime, too). Their approach to making music is also quite unique – they go about collecting field recordings first and then try to arrange the music around these recordings instead of first writing the songs and then trying to find the fitting field recording. They then work with the songs for as long as necessary which implies that some of the tracks on Maa Antaa Yön Vaientaa might have taken longer and are older than assumed.
The title might be taken with two interpretations: Either the night resembles the darkness which in some moments seems to be lurking behind the corners, when the songs are a bit more “futuristic”, for lack of a better word. ”Kilpemme” with its retro-synth sounds and the short, pulsating outside noises is one of these examples.
The other possible interpretation is that the earth stands still, when Horte are laying their warm blanket of sound across it. That warmth is definitely there, as its guitar sounds drenched in psychedelic Shoegaze and effortlessly fluorescing along the web spun by the sometimes stoic yet always effective drumming and most importantly – by the voice of singer Riika. Sounding like the middle between Kim Gordon (without the sometimes dangerous element) and Henriette Sennenvaldt of Under Byen (with more “ballsiness”). Generally one can see some similarity to the Danes from Under Byen as this is in some ways definitely Post-Rock but a very quirky one as it is also as much Psychedelia like 13th Floor Elevators or Neo-Kraut like Föllakzoid. This record can achieve the same effect as Olso Tapes who released their acclaimed album ØR on Pelagic Records a few months ago full of Krautrock meets Electronica-anthems. And just as it was with ØR here it is also very difficult to pinpoint to one song being THE highlight of this second album by the Finns. Interesting is also the fact that the recording also involved Oranssi Pazuzu’s Juho Vanhanen and Dark Buddha Rising’s Saku Tamminen – two bands one would normally never associate with this kind of music. Nonetheless, when listening to the rare eruptions on Maa Antaa … one might understand more clearly that these two artists from the noisier side were involved in the making – for example the feedback-orgy in the middle of ”Kun Joki Haihtuu”. Here, the band shows their rougher side with the chaotic free Noise after roughly 2:20 minutes and some strong riffing around the 4:30 minutes point. The fact that all songs are sung in Finnish only gives reasons to fully rely on one’s understanding via the vocal melodies. The fairy-comparison might come from here (another parallel to Under Byen), but Horte is not only soothing, but can sometimes also be pretty disturbing; remember the noisier elements!
The record grows with every spin it gets – and it should get many because it rewards the ear with little bits and lops every time it opens up to the “Earth Silenced by the Night”. Let’s sit back in the garden chair at night, light one single candle and watch the darkness slowly fall over everything while Horte lays down the magical soundtrack with an otherworldly sound experience.