Harold Nono - "The Death of Barra"
(Rack & Ruin Records 2008, rrr039, free digital download)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
Harold Nono is an electronic musician based in Edinburgh, Scotland with several albums to his credit, and now has a new 19 minute EP on Rack & Ruin Records that is being distributed via free digital download. "The Death of Barra" is an avant-garde combination of ambience and orchestration. I like the way Nono abruptly alternates between quiet moody bits and intense orchestral segments. Loops and space ambience make for an enjoyably freaky effect on "Little Reminders", later joined by melody, grooves and various aquatic sounds. "Ham" features spacey soundscape waves, some intensely shrill, rising and falling against a steady droning backdrop. And "Turnpike West" sounds, on the surface anyway, like soundtrack music that portrays the engine room of a spacecraft, with its repetitive pulsations. But dig deeper and there's emotional depth to be heard, like the robot that has a heart. I wish this were longer than 5 minutes, as I felt Nono was just getting started with this one. Overall, a nice set of soundscape music and a good bit of variety for an EP.
The Death of Barra is available for free download from the Rack & Ruin Records web site: http://www.rackandruinrecords.com/artists/haroldnono.php
Visit the Harold Nono web site at: http://www.myspace.com/haroldnono
Email at: email@example.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz