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Haiku Salut

The Hill, The Light, The Ghost

    Haiku Salut, the acclaimed electronica trio from the Derbyshire Dales release their fifth album, ‘The Hill, The Light, The Ghost’ on Secret Name records.

    A beautiful study of ghosts and memory, the gestation of the record began when Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood was given a Tascam field recorder. “I carried it around with me in case anything interesting happened. I guess I wanted to capture little pieces of the world in the same way we all take photographs,” explains Sophie. “It wasn’t immediately apparent that we would begin to use these sounds as the architecture for an album but as our writing process evolved the textures of these memories became a bank of inspiration.”

    “We then began actively searching for ghosts in the world and framing the songs around their qualities,” Sophie continues. “Gathering recordings, removing them from their context and building worlds around them. Capturing and preserving personal experiences, and evoking vivid spaces. You could say the record is a miniature exploration of sound in relation to memory. Each piece is intimately connected to a place in time.”

    Musically, the album marries the expansive vision of their third album, ‘There Is No Elsewhere’, which celebrated identity and community, with the darker, more contemplative feel of their fourth album, the trio’s original soundtrack for Buster Keaton’s ‘The General’. Building on the lessons learned working on ‘The General’, ‘The Hill, The Light, The Ghost’ is a cohesive suite, nine songs that combine to tell a larger story – that of experience and memory, of precious moments and echoes of past lives.

    TRACK LISTING

    (1) Wide Awake
    (2) Entering
    (3) We Need These Beams
    (4) I Dreamed I Was Awake For A Very Long Time
    (5) How The Day Starts
    (6) All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
    (7) Try Again And Again And Again
    (8) Trespass
    (9) All Clear

    Haiku Salut

    The General

      “The General” features Haiku Salut’s new original soundtrack for Buster Keaton’s 1926 comedy classic of the same name. Commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary as part of the BFI’s Comedy Genius season, the 23 track score was written within a two-month period over winter in the band’s studio at the edge of the Peak District, and sees the trio of Gemma Barkerwood, Louise Croft and Sophie Barkerwood give the revered silent film a startling electronica overhaul. Combining glitchy electronica, soaring post rock, and beautiful piano pieces, “The General” is an emotional, transformative record. The band find moments of drama and heartbreak in a much-loved comedy, and enrich the bygone world of Buster Keaton with a gloriously contemporary score.

      The album was preceded by a double A side single, which showcased the scope of “The General” soundtrack. “Loves” is a simple, beautiful piece for guitar, piano and electronics, which charts Buster Keaton’s character Johnnie Gray woo-ing his true love Annabelle, while “Going Back” follows an extremely unusual chase scene with tangled electronica, ghostly treated voices, and a moment where the music and the action suddenly goes into reverse. Elsewhere, the album takes in shimmering electro (“Firewood”), a song which bleeds electronica into dub (“Train Steal”), gorgeous piano pieces haunted by electronics (“Reunited”, “Enlist”), and songs which melt all of the above (“The Flood”, “The Escape”). Haiku’s albums are often described as “a soundtrack to an imaginary movie”, but this album artfully turns that notion on its head. Here’s a soundtrack to an actual movie which exists brilliantly in its own right. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Haiku Salut are one of the most enchanting and hypnotic acts to have come out since Múm or Sigur Rós, changing between tender, acoustic instrumentation to rhythmic, driving electronica and syncopated percussive drive in the blink of an eye. Spellbinding and absolutely essential.

      TRACK LISTING

      (1) Start
      (2) Intro
      (3) Loves
      (4) Enlist
      (5) Engine
      (6) Chattanooga
      (7) Train Steal
      (8) Velocipede
      (9) Deserters
      (10) Cannon
      (11) Traction
      (12) Chopping Wood/Arrive
      (13) Hide (14) Reunited
      (15) The Escape
      (16) Firewood
      (17) Obstructions
      (18) Going Back
      (19) Rock River
      (20) The Crash
      (21) The Flood
      (22) Engine Again
      (23) Finish 


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