High Plains – Cinderland – Album Review by Killian Laher
High Plains is a collaboration between Scott Morgan, best known as Loscil, and cello player Mark Bridges, so expect A-grade ambient moods. The title track which opens the album swells gradually over an insistent piano, leading to wintry cello motifs and menacing drones, which ends far too soon after three minutes. Blood That Ran The Rapids is dark and immersive, with doomy keyboards overlaid by strings, evoking some sort of descent, either metaphorical or literal. The listener gets to decide.
The pace slows further still with the slow build up of the relatively lengthy The Dusk Pines. For those familiar with Loscil, this rather tranquil piece will feel familiar. More than halfway through the brief A White Truck, tranquillity is shattered by an ominous squelch, for want of a better word, of keyboards. The piano is more dominant on the stately drift of Ten Sleep and the suspense filled Rushlights, while on the other hand Black Shimmer and Hypoxia consist almost entirely of downcast cellos. Both instruments combine for the closing track Song For A Last Night, providing an almost blissed out end to the album.
If there is a criticism it’s that many of these largely fine pieces end after a mere three minutes. However, this may also allow an album like this to be more accessible to the casual listener. And for those already acclimatised to this kind of music, this is a fine effort.
2. Blood That Ran The Rapids
3. The Dusk Pines
4. A White Truck
5. Ten Sleep
6. Black Shimmer
9. Song For A Last Night