You never know what to expect from Hidden Shoal, post-rock, electronica, ambient, folk, it could be anything; the people operating the Australia-based independent label don’t bind it to just one genre. If it’s good and they like it, they’ll release it. One of the latest gems from Hidden Shoal is a stimulating 4-track, free download EP aptly titled To Set The River On Fire. The concept: two Hidden Shoal artists remix each other’s music, or, set each other’s rivers on fire if you will. English dream-pop artist Chloë March has reconstructed a track from the latest album by German experimentalist Markus Mehr, and vice versa. The results are incendiary and seductive.
Mehr took March’s “Ember” and turned it into a multilayered, futuristic and electrifying beast. The track surges forward savagely, throbbing and twisting, but Mehr has beautifully preserved the caressing expressive charm of the original, in fact, he even intensified it. It’s a cutting edge, erratic sonic roller coaster bursting with electricity, craftiness and otherworldliness. An absolute stunner. March, on the other hand, has set a different kind of fire in Mehr’s minimalist ambient river, “Buoy,” a mystical and slightly dark fire that burns slowly and sensually.
The EP also includes the two original pieces. This collaborative effort really ignites the imagination and will surely leave, and probably has already left, many listeners craving for more. We here at Igloo Magazine would be absolutely thrilled to hear March and Mehr setting more of each other’s rivers on fire, in the form of a full-length album.
I post a lot of things from the australian imprint hidden shoal, because i like the way they work (they are super open minded and helpful to artists) and the dreamy, high quality music they consistently release. this project is interesting as it is a classic ‘vs’ EP…two artists in the hidden shoal stable remixing each other’s tunes.
here, singer chloe march takes on ambient soundsmith markus mehr, and it’s an auspicious pairing. his feel for sonic textures is a great match to chloe’s instrumental sensibilities and gossamer voice, which is unique and beautiful (i’ve written about chloe a few times and i think i’m running low on adjectives for her special instrument). especially cool is when she steps into markus’ tune ‘bouy’. her voice inhabits the spaces he creates.