Alter is the new album from Belgium-based double bass player and electronic producer Otto Lindholm.
Divided into four colour-inspired, long-form movements, Alter takes off from Lindholm’s previous work - a self-titled album released in 2015 on Icarus Records, and pushes the already abundant palette of sounds even further. This new work is more brooding and hypnotic. A deep, resonating bass is present - hinting at the likes of Greek, chamber-doom merchants Mohammad but perhaps with more attention placed upon textures and melody.
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The record moves at a funereal pace and opener Fauve hits abyssal depths from the outset. A bowed melody is coaxed through the throbbing bass with dissonant harmonics drawing you in and holding you close. The ghostly beginnings of Alyscamps create an overwhelmingly tense atmosphere where acoustic and electronic elements collide and evolve into a heaving, ceremonious drone. Shafts of light emerge through the fog but the tone remains a haunted one. Closer, Heliotrope, strikes a more hopeful note. A lighter, more open feel emerges - bringing to mind early work of The Rachels or perhaps Deaf Center.
Alter is a triumphant record in its entirety. Seamlessly moving from light to shade and back again, experimenting in heavy atmosphere and ultimately drawing you into its deep and mysterious world.
"'Alter' contains four rather long tracks which balance on the edge between classical music and drone ambient. They are slow, lingering and gloomy pieces of music, reminding me of acts like Kuro, Innerwoud and the double bass version of the things Aidan Baker has been doing over the years. Of course this is great music. If you are into drones and ambient but also love the warm sound of analog instruments, you should not miss out on this one." Merchant Of Air
"The structures may be obscure, but there is a definite sense of form lurking behind the shape-shifting ambience of Lindholm’s work. And through those near-subliminal structures, which tease at the senses and inch into the subconscious, Lindholm achieves something which reaches beyond the listening experience and into another realm altogether." Aural Aggravation
"Resonant rumbles introduce “Fauve” the opener. From such deep bass frequencies, the song eventually emerges from this darkness and moves into the light with such grace. Silence becomes an important ally on the spacious “Lehena”. By opting for such an approach Otto Lindholm highlights the acoustic and the electronic working in unison. Quite beautiful, the layers interact to deliver something that feels naturalistic, almost pastoral at times. Gradually the song grows in scope to incorporate vast sweeps of sound. Easily the highlight of the album comes with the mysterious world of “Alyscamps”. Hard to pin down, Otto Lindholm lets a wide variety of textures enter the mix, from the malfunctioning to the magnificent. Nicely ending everything on a high note “Heliotrope” brings it all together in a vast swooning way." Beach Sloth