Various Artists – Naviar Haiku 9

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[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

The meticulous balance of Haiku cast against an unpredictable palette of artists working in the field of atmospheric ambiance. This ninth entry in Naviar records ongoing project certainly contains variety; the abrasive feedback of Fxtion, the stoic melancholy of Ikjoyce and the field recording/cinematic opulence of Dirigent are just some of what you’ll find on here. There is no shortage of imaginative composition going on and it really is remarkable to observe this endeavor unfolding through the passage of time; don’t rush things with ‘Haiku 9’, let it unfold as it will. Light lowers, the seas grow calm and behind impenetrable banks of cloud the moon flickers across your face on the shore.

It is the silence between the words of Haiku which are what make them poignant and the music each of these artists has provided reflects this; somehow Naviar have managed to locate and then curate music which is minimal and also gloriously expansive. One other curious item to note is that in their submissions form they indicate no time limit to what is submitted and this explains my favorite track on here: Stachy DJ’s “Hofuku Sochi – Ecco in Me, in the Clear Night”. Somberly tolling bells lead the way into an esoteric realm, you really get a sense of scale here and I’m floored to not have heard of this artist before. Understanding the connectivity between one’s natural surroundings and the synthetic reality of electronic manipulation is a rare gift.

I sincerely hope there is more to come from Stachy.

Don’t let my focus on one tune detract from any of the others, each have their own methodology for bringing out the subtle feel of living organisms. It’s quite an elegant bunch of sound to have cajoled into one place and it has taken me considerable time to process adequately; there is not just the music to drink in here nor the Haiku but also what time of day or night you are playing this. Far from being just another compendium of bedroom “ambient” twaddling, Naviar give us something which demands reflection; contemplate your own place in our grubby little world when you tune in, just don’t expect an easy time of it.

I must go back yet again to the passion and committment running through this album’s fluttering, frenetic heart; we’ve been granted an audience to sit and listen to the butterflies as they swarm but rather than a light source we’ve been given these words to meditate upon in the dark as we listen to their wings beat against one another before crushing themselves on the rocks.

Various Artists – Naviar Haiku 9
Naviar Records, NH009
Digital 2016

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