After releasing Indite at Moving Furniture Records (April of 2015), the first one with MFR but the band’s second album, Haarvöl began a series of conceptual, somehow interconnected projects, restricting the boundaries of the sonic ambience to a very concise one.
This long process gave birth to three albums, each one having a very particular sonic approach but knitted in a personal Haarvöl sound idiosyncrasy, which gives the trilogy a thread that intertwines the whole collection.
Bombinate is the first album of this trilogy to be released at Moving Furniture Records. It represents an evolution in Haarvöl’s sound. The music lives from the subtleties hidden in a powerful but sophisticated mass of sound. The exploration of the dynamics of the sounds evolved to a careful process of composition, giving the music a richness that evokes images, reinforcing the cinematic characteristics explored in the early albums.
Each listener is invited to find the hidden details and create his own personal universe of the music.
Bombinate combines tracks that are between quietude and a more sonic experimentalism towards the exploration of time in music. This appears as a kind of individualized approach to both drone and ambient aesthetics. The balance between both sides is a challenge for the album and a statement from the band.
As in previous albums, Haarvöl explores the relationship with images both at the sonic level and in the references that often came from the visual arts. Here the spectral presence of Bas Jan Ader and Tonino Guerra, among others, can be experienced. Also a note for the participation – again - of the Spanish electro-acoustic composer and field recordings expert Xóan Xil López.
Haarvöl, a collective project based in Portugal with three permanent members, has been active since the end of 2012. Haarvöl’s music has been presented in several spaces as sound installations, audio-visual performances or as a sort of expanded cinema focused on the connection between sounds and images. It is also present as original sound track in videos from visual artists.
"This is the second release by Portuguese Haarvöl for Moving Furniture Records, working towards a trilogy; it's the band's third release. The two previous ones were reviewed in Vital Weekly 960 and 982, and I enjoyed both. Haarvöl is a trio of Fernando Jose Pereira and Joao Faria, responsible for the music, and Rui Manuel Vieira for the images (and as such I have yet to find out what he does in Haarvöl; maybe a DVD release is an option?). The band describes their music as living "from the subtleties hidden in a powerful but sophisticated mass of sound", which one could interpret as drone music in which just a bit more is happening and that is perhaps something I hear. Like before it is not easy to say what the origin of the sound is; it can be analogue or digital means, there is a possibility that this is all to do with instruments, but all the same we might be dealing here with the use of field recordings, computer processing and what have you. Not that such things should matter I would think, as we have to look at the result and these are wonderful again. Here we have six lengthy pieces of heavy drone music, but all of this being 'drone plus'. Like before it is not easy to say whether this is the result of improvisation or composing (and perhaps like the technical question one that is not really relevant to know), but it sounds all quite low and bass-like, but there is surely in every piece something that spices things up a bit. Some voices here and there in 'Senesencia' or a click rhythm in 'Peur (Presque Silence)', field recordings in 'Angst (After Future, The Past)' of water running and slowed down and some, higher pitched drones dropping in and out of the mix. In 'Paura (A Tonio G.)' I believe to hear a guitar, perhaps the only one here, otherwise it is all very much in the world of electronics (analogue and/or digital; I would think both). This is a dark and moody piece of music, but one that I enjoyed a lot. Their sound is getting better and it made me very curious for their next release; how will they end this trilogy?" (FdW, Vital Weekly)
"Fernando Jose Pereira and Joao Faria are the musical heart of the Portugeese band Haarvöl, with which each time in different ways explore sounds. For example the debute Hebetude is quite different from the amazing Indite release in 2015 by the prestigious Moving Furniture Records. Both continues a mix of drones, field recordings, dark ambient and noise, but with the first they focus more on experimental noise, while on the second it is in almost neo-classical way. Always visuals play a role.
For the follow up they started a conceptual series in which they have some limiting rules. That has created not 1, but 3 albums, a trilogy with as first part Bombinate, again out on Moving Furniture Records.
In six long stretched tracks they bring an ultra subtle mix of field-recordings (nature sounds, traffic, voices), glitches, drones and ambient. Specially with headphones on it is very clear to hear how nice and complex the compositions are en how spatial.
The sounds seems 3 dimensional, with contrasting pieces that cross each other, but still create one intruiging whole. It is particular clever, but also exciting if not even frighting, intriguing and imaginative.
You could think of a cross pollination of Kreng, Svarte Greiner, Philippe Petit, Kaboom Karavan, Jasper TX, Jacob Kierkegaard and Machinefabriek, although nothing really fits with this impressive music. This directly also makes looking forward to the other two parts." (De Subjectivisten)
"The Dutch label Moving Furniture Records continues delivering high quality ambient and drones. Who observes the different editions of the label side, notices how incredibly wide variety is possible within the limits (electronic, experimental, ambient, drone) in which the label operates. This time it touches Haarvöl from Portugal, which with Bombinate produces an extremely successful first part of a trilogy. Haarvöl is a trio of which two members are responsible for the music. Fernando José Pereira and João Faria are the ones who produce the sounds, while Rui Manuel Vieira takes care of the visual aspect. The latter will undoubtedly have added value, but will not be missed when listening to the CD.
The music is fascinating enough to hold the attention and in addition, as a listener, you can use your imagination to create an image of the sounds that the duo manufactures.
Bombinate is not the first issue of Haarvöl at Moving Furniture Records.
In 2015, Indite appeared, an album that is under the tags of ambient and drone, but not of the minimalist kind. The music of the Portuguese is abstract but it is constantly moving and experiments with noise are not eliminated. At Bombinate, the music is in quieter waters than in the predecessor, but now the density of sounds sometimes doubles.
Besides electronics, Haarvöl uses field recordings (for which Fernando José Pereira and João Faria as well Xóan-XIL López are responsible), which sometimes makes it difficult to hear where electronic sounds are used and when it comes to manipulated field recordings. It does not matter as long as the two know the right atmosphere and the fascinating sounds. That is certainly the case with this album.
In “Senescencia” direct tension is created, especially when a drone from a high and low tone is entering and exciting sounds are being spelled that give the whole of a sinister edge. The drone loses his low tone in the midst and now hears motorized traffic and a voice that are naturally incorporated into electronic sounds.
In "Angst (After Future, The Past)" there are many other sounds to be heard. But what exactly? Are we in a jungle? In a tight room? Or in space?
It is not clear, but wherever it is, there is activity around the listener, not at a distance but close. You wonder if the sounds should be in fear or that they are harmless. Your throat and your brain make overtime in an effort to absorb everything. A piano performs the alienating but fascinating piece.
A very low ground tone is called “Paura (A Tonino G.)”. Again, your ears are short of everything. There is an electronic rhythm in the background perceptible and played with dynamic and threatening. In the last part, a piano plays a sparing sound that continues electronically.
Yet? Nothing is certain at Haarvöl.
In “A Remake Of Ourselves (For Bass Jan Ader)”, sounds a whistle or several whistles whose sounds have been manipulated. The piece is silent, but there is also constant motion in the layers of sounds on top of a drone.
Much darker is the first part of “An Eldritch Floor”. A crying group of people can be heard, a company that apparently is unaware of the threat that lies ahead.
After three minutes the sound colour of the piece changes radically; Suddenly there are many lighter sounds to hear, it's like swapping weightlessly.
The threat returns for a moment, but now in a seemingly empty space.
The album ends with “Peur (Presque Silence)”, in which quiet sounds are accompanied by an irregular and thus troubled electronic pulse.
The tension is in the sound compositions individually, but also in contrast.
Haarvöl experiments with sounds, fills his music well but sounds abstract enough to leave much to the imagination.
The CD is best listened with the eyes closed and with imagination working on full turns. Every listener can create his own world, but without visualization, Bombinate offers pure listening pleasure.
An intriguing piece of work, and this is still part of the trilogy. Let the other parts come." (opduvel.com - translated)