Review: Horaflora – Eaves Drop (enmossed, Oct 15)

Since the release of The Gland Canyon in 2007, Raub Roy’s ongoing project Horaflora has increasingly moved toward an organic approach quotidian improvisation that melds seamlessly with its surroundings the two entwining and interacting to produce unforgettable phantasmagorias of colorful textures. Eaves Drop is Roy’s first non-live solo LP since 2012, but such a significant gap does not at all translate to a lack of inspiration or improvement upon what came previously; this lovely vinyl edition offers three new tracks that are, without a doubt, Horaflora’s best work yet. Each piece breathes like a living thing, slow inhales and exhales churning the flow of sound into languid eddies and currents, moving between ever-unpredictable racket generated by various tabletop configurations and deeply immersive environment recordings (accompanied by some other bells and whistles along the way, of course, such as brief snatches of saxophone or the plunks of a cheap plastic synthesizer) with breathtaking ease. As with Shots’ Private Hate last year, there is certainly a distortion of participation and pure perception occurring here, but on Eaves Drop these blurred boundaries are simultaneously more defined and harder to actually make out—take the concluding “Motorcycles Were Suddenly Observed at All Hours,” for example: were one to hear the spacious binaural capture of a massive, humming warehouse and the screeching string creak-drones that follow it separately, it wouldn’t be at all difficult to discern which was performed and which was simply observed, but when placed in such close proximity each casts a shadow of ambiguity upon the other. There is also humanity aplenty throughout, overheard conversations and laughter of playing children and the soothing swish of bustling traffic, just one of the countless layers of this album that are seemingly allowed to grow, intermingle, and flourish on their own.

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