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Hidden Horse — Opala
(Bandcamp Holuzam ZAM026, 2022, MC / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2022-05-04

Opala Cover art

While I truly appreciate and enjoy Lisbon’s Beautify Junkyards' bucolic acid folk music, band leader João Kyron’s side projects of Kyron and Hidden Horse are an entirely different story. Two months ago I reviewed Kyron’s muffled electronic explorations Ascending Plume of Faces, which I could not appreciate. Now we have a new side project by Kryon and long time fellow bandmate Tony Watts, named Hidden Horse. Opala, released on February 18, 2022 on both cassette and Bandcamp, is their debut album consisting of eight tracks spanning almost thirty minutes. The music explores muffled eerie slogging through dense fog-shrouded soundscapes in another dimension of time, the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. The eight tracks are sci-fi themed with Portuguese titles. And one may detect a small point of reference to Louis and Bebe Barron’s eponymous Forbidden Planet soundtrack. But for me, I find the monotonous sameness from track to track, despite the occasional sci-fi movie sound bites, to be boring and uninspired.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Beautify Junkyards, João Branco Kyron, Hidden Horse

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