Sound Impression: Volume Flow by Pausal [hibernate]


Hibernate was formed in the “rain-soaked paradise” of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire by  music enthusiast Joanathan Lees in 2009. The label saw a diverse array of top-notch artists contribute releases to its sterling catalog for the better part of six years before a entering a period of low activity in 2016 & 2017, so the arrival of fresh material in recent months is a most welcome development. The revival began with a pair of new entries in the  “postcard series” this past spring and it continues this summer with a gorgeous new full-length album by Pausal. Though Volume Flow is the first release for the project on the label, its members Alex Smalley (aka Olan Mill) and Simon Bainton have each appeared twice before as solo artists.

The orchestral sweep and dizzying rushes of last year’s Avifaunal (Dronarivm) have been supplanted by a much more subdued and pastoral tone on the new record. Lush, shimmering drones are still the order of the day, but while the wide-eyed Avifaunal fluttered and soared like birds in flight, Volume Flow rises and falls like the quiet breathing of the Earth. One teems with movement, the other ebbs with an imperceptible flow. This contrast only heightens appreciation for the ability of Smalley & Bainton to mold and shade sonic clay into whatever distinct narrative they wish to convey and their latest opus turns out to be an especially soothing balm for the ears.

“Volume Flow is an attempt to express their appreciation for all biological forms of nature with the word “Volume” in the title referring as much to the liquid state as it does to audio levels. “

Volume Flow is now available in a limited CD edition (150 copies) featuring artwork by Susanne Steinman as well as digital download.

Links:  Bandcamp (CD/DL)  |  hibernate Alex Smalley  |  Simon Bainton