Halma — The Ground
(Kapitän Platte Kutter 050, 2019, CD / LP / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-10-25
The latest release from German quartet Halma finds the band flying through deep yet gentle grooves, sometimes at high speed, some at lesser speed, bassist Gundi Voigt and drummer Fiona McKenzie carving deep furrows where the band’s two guitarists (Thorsten Carstens and Andreas Voss) create interesting riffage that soothes and flows while avoiding much of the repetition and self-indulgence that might make these instrumental grooves boring in the hands of a less skilled band. The ideas tend to build slowly and evolve continuously as they go forward through space and time, and because there are no lyrics to muddle up the process and ruin the party, the listener is left with a purely sonic adventure suitable for soundtrack, driving, meditation, or flying through imaginary interstellar space when you close your eyes with the headphones on. Each of the six tracks here has a unique trajectory — the faster-paced side openers “Advanced Construction” and “It Could All Be Different” are in a unique position to set the stage for the more laid-back groovers that follow them. The guitars are treated to all kinds of sublime effects, echo, distortion, and reverb as needed, but never to excess, and the bass and drums maintain that everpresent groovulation that propels the sound ever forward. This is immersion music to warm the soul and create a soundtrack for the imagination, expect effective textures and sonic majesty without a lot of flashy soloing or complexity. It fits right into your pocket and travels with you everywhere.
Related artist(s): Halma
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