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Ian Hawgood & Friends: Wolven (A Modern Interpretation)

img  Tobias Fischer

Regardless of how respected and experienced Ian Hawgood may be as a label owner, sound artist and mastering engineer and as mature and refined as his productions may have become, there is still something of the little boy in him. If Hawgood has managed to turn music into a profession without losing his passion, perhaps that is because rather than exorcising his inner demons, he has come to cherish them in a twisted way, accepting the occasional disillusionment as the flip side to upholding his sense of amazement and wonder. And so, Wolven (A Modern Interpretation) is far more than just a 'grown-up' update on his 2009 full-length Wolfskin, a conceptual collection of pieces based on sketches of childhood dreams. Like a victim of violence returning to the crime scene, Hawgood is revisiting these surreal subconscious places and going through the purgatory once again. This time, however, he has brought along a cast of artists to back him up. As is often the case, your friends tend to know you better than yourself. And so, some of these re-interpretations go even deeper than the originals, turning Wolven into a dream within a dream, starting with bittersweet, hypnotic, perpetuum-mobile-like duets with Aaron Martin's aching cello and culminating in Hakobune's heavenly nine-minute long dronescape, which drifts away into the distance like a lost hot air balloon caught in a feverish Summernight thunderstorm. On a second disc, bvdub's Brock van Wey even adds yearning string washes, melancholic piano sequences and entirely new themes to the equation, arriving at a sort of sequel, a self-contained 80-minute parallel galaxy. This is what intimacy really looks like: Opening up, admitting one's weaknesses and then creating something beautiful from them. The immense proportions and endless ambition of this release might seem a little out of scale for what started out as an innocent exploration of childhood. And yet, if you've still got that little boy inside of you, nothing can ever be big enough.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Ian Hawgood
Homepage: Hibernate Records
Homepage: Koen Music Records (direct digital album link)