Posts Tagged ‘Calm with Horses’

11th January 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Curse my brain. It’s so unhelpful at times. When Tim Hann – aka break_fold – emailed me his new single release, I managed to misread ‘Welwala’ as ‘Welawala’, and immediately my mental jukebox struck up ‘Summer Nights’ from Grease. ‘Tell me more’, you say?

Uh-huh, ok. Having recently connected with analog horizons, with whom this is his second release ahead of the fourth break_fold album, scheduled for release towards the end of 2022, Tim’s been gaining traction with support for previous singles ‘Meanwhile.. Up in Trump Tower’ and ‘Variant’ from BBC 6 Music DJs Gideon Coe and Steve Lamacq.

As is common for Hann, it’s a TV series that in part inspired the composition: on this occasion, it’s the sci-fi show The Expanse as well as Blanck Mass’ Calm with Horses film soundtrack (as far back as the debut album by I Concur, Hann was drawing on The Wire among his wide-ranging sources).

Gary Numan-esque synths and that crisp crack of a vintage drum machine snare sound. Beneath the bold strikes builds first a later of bass, then a bubbling synth loop, and then the drums kick up a notch and beat harder. As the elements layer up, the track takes on new depths and grows in intensity. The dropdown is perfectly timed, and from there it builds again. Compositionally it’s magnificent, and there’s a lot of action and dynamic work packed into three-and-a-half minutes. It’s tight, and the production is poised, just-so, and it all comes together with a precision that at the same time feels intuitive, and it’s that intuition that really gives it some force as it pushes the listener along in its swelling current.

As the press release explains, ‘Welwala is about seeing something from two different points of view. It is structured around two contrasting synth lines with focus shifting between them, evoking both optimism and threat. These are layered with an insistent drum track in a sequence that hints at narrative evolution.’ So, a bit like ‘Summer Nights’ then. I mean, ok, not musically, but my misread was right about the telling the story from two different perspectives, right? Right?

AA

a2453954432_10