Second album from Steve Parry's dark ambient collective...
Peter Marsh 2006-01-09
Hwyl-Nofio is less of a band than a floating collective convened by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Parry; here it includes Rothko's Mark Beazley, improv guitarists Sandor Szabo and Frederik Soegaard plus sound engineer Trevor Stainsby.
Hymnal is their second album (reissued though recorded in 2002), and it's a strangely beautiful thing. Parry and friends construct detailed, organic collages from guitars, basses, eccentrically tuned pianos, organs, harmoniums, tape loops and brass, not to mention the occasional toy spaceship. The mood is predominantly melancholic, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes laced with a creeping dread.
Parry's careful approach puts Hwyl-Nofioon a different level from the legions of bedroom droners out there; like Steve Stapleton, his music manages to coax complex and occasionally indefinable emotional responses from the receptive listener. Top stuff.