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Bill Horist - Covalent Lodge

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 11 / 6 / 2010

Bill Horist - Covalent Lodge
Label: North Pole Records
Format: CD


Magical and haunting dream pop on latest album from Washington-based musician and composer, Bill Horist

In reading his press release it sounds like Washington DC native Bill Horist has done just about everything, and with just about everyone. Although he has scored films, theatre, dance and video games in his time, he is most notable, however, for his collaborations with musicians and is renowned for his precise style that is intricate yet completely haunting and compelling. It really is like listening to music from another world or another time on ‘Covalent Lodge’. Even the album artwork with its picture of a sort of mystical door in the middle of a green, black and grey forest looks like it could have come straight out of Middle Earth somewhere. The album has been produced by Randall Dunn, who among others has produced drone kings Sun o))),. On ‘Covalent Lodge’ it is clear that he has been pushed to the limit, but he has pulled it off spectacularly. You get the impression that Dunn and Horist are a perfect combination to make this magical sort of music. It goes so far beyond what you would normally hear, but at the same time without being unfamiliar or alien. It has a real warmth to it. It is like they have taken you into their mystical little forest house and told you a story by the fire, rather than luring you in with some hallucinogenic fruits and then battering your ears with some far out noise that in any other circumstances wouldn’t make sense. ‘Sod Webworm’ and ‘Smeared Slate Gales Warped in Oozing Windows’, apart from having two of the greatest titles ever, are fine examples of the haunting, yet somehow comforting use of very deliberately vague vocals that dominate this album. These vocals sound more like an angelic choir than something more earthly and mundane. This then flows throughout the album with ‘Breath-width Isthmus’ and ‘Requiem for Endless Days’ all of which have their own part on the journey that is this album. Horist and Dunn totally draw you into their dreamscape sounds and mind expanding ambience. This really is the sort of album that takes you on a journey to a far away place and is a joy to experience. If I could rent a room at Covalent Lodge for a week I would love to, but I doubt there’d be a Rough Guide to do it justice. Absolutely magical.

Track Listing:-
1 In The House of the Specious Phylum
2 The Breath-Width Isthmus
3 Smeared Slate Gales Warped in Oozing Windows
4 Glen/Ganges
5 Affable Hauntings
6 Requiem for Endless Days
7 In the Arms of the Specious Phylum
8 Sod Webworm
9 The Imperatives of Subsequence

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