Oct 3, 2015

Hior Chronik - Taking the Veil (Kitchen,2015)

Hior ChronikLucky is the artist whose work appears on the Kitchen. imprint. The latest beneficiary of the label’s attention is Athens-born and current Berlin resident Hior Chronik, who began producing his expressive ambient-styled material a mere seven years ago. Taking the Veil is not, however, his first appearance on the label; instead, it’s the follow-up to 2012’s Vanishing Mirror, which he and classical pianist Zinovia Arvanitidi issued under the Pill-Oh name. The visual narrative is rooted in the idea of young women whose inner thoughts and imagination are concealed from view — veiled, as it were — which in turn makes the women grow enigmatic and mysterious to those around them.

Chronik’s an avid collaborator whose second solo album, Unspoken Words, includes appearances by Akira Kosemura and Dictaphone’s Roger Doering and whose latest pushes the idea to an extreme, with all but one of its fifteen pieces featuring a guest on each track. Kindred spirits such as Field Rotation, Sophie Hutchings, Aaron Martin, Luup, and Japanese composers Yasushi Yoshida and Yoshinori Takezawa take part, and the fifty-minute recording is elevated by the vocal contributions of Amber Ortolano and Familiar Trees’ Fabiola Sanchez on four songs.
Ortolano’s sleepy recitation of the familiar nursery rhyme “London Bridges” provides a promising entry-point to the release, but it’s “Nest of Autumn” (with Hutchings) that more clearly establishes Chronik’s style when it presents a serenading blend of classical piano playing, electronic textures, and orchestral strings. A version of “Twice” by Swedish electronic band Little Dragon adds a subtle trip-hop twist to the album when Ortolano’s laid-back singing appears alongside Chronik’s sparkling backdrop, and Taking the Veil rises to a whole other level of enchantment when Sanchez adds her hushed voice to the strings-drenched meditation “Can You Hear.”

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