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Caldera, released June 30th 2014.

Track listing: Jhanoem The Witch, Amberay, The Hidden Forest 1, The Hidden Forest 2, Laurus, Eila’s Song, Volcano, Adder Stone, South West Night.

Beautifully presented in a hard cover card book with a diecut CD insert. Photography by Karolina Urbaniak, sleeve notes by Adrian Ainsworth.

The Cauldron is my metaphorical receptacle for all I see, hear, feel, imagine, experience, dream and forget…

Listening to ‘Caldera’

This album is the result of thought, image and emotion, translated into sound.

In its opening moments, Jhanoem circles me on tiptoe. At the moment of entrapment, an earthy bass note carries the high, plucked notes downwards and the siren cradles me in an extended, entrancing melody.

The sensuality of this music is rooted in balance: strength with allure, drive with delicacy, terror with beauty. The percussion – sparse, intense – blends folk rhythms with industrial heft, as if ancient music from the future. Guest vocals become part of the fabric. I hear the Volcano simmering, agitating, but the eruption never comes. The freeform, mesmerising middle sequence of Adder Stone scythes between the metronomic opening and closing sections, its spiralling final note bursting like water through solid rock. I can find calm and refuge in the Hidden Forest, or under the South West Night.

Nature is not the only mother here. Jo’s song to daughter Eila tells me more than I would otherwise ever know about an infant night. The caressing lullaby, repeating and resolving, gives way to restlessness, possibly even fear. But then the opening theme reappears, merges, and finally defeats the melancholy with reassurance and serenity. Intimate – and intricate.

You can read this collection of short stories, or view this gallery of startling landscapes, with your eyes closed. You only need to listen.

Adrian Ainsworth, London, January 2014

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