There are moments when hypnotics play a role in ones listening experience. The discovery of subtleties, the awakening of each overtone, and the layers that extend the dynamics. This is the soundscape of Hely on their sophomore release titled Borderland, by the Swiss duo featuring pianist Lucca Fries from the band Ikarus and Jonas Ruther on drums.
The album was recorded July 2017 in Zürich by Willy Strehler who captures the emotionally charged compositions, which are intense, percussive, and abstract with plenty of air and rockus interplay. Just touching the hi-res realm with a 24-bit / 44.1kHz resolution, these downloadable files shine through with very good dynamics that dramatically deepen the listening experience. With a pleasurable realism to the balance and staging, the drums spread across the stereo field with the piano falling to a more central focus.
The eight restrained yet saturated pieces elicit an internal tension which may trigger your latent emotions, all under a sublime tonal texture. The transparent recording does very well at delivering a vibrant soundstage, all while pushing up against the limitations of the 44.1kHz sampling rate. It is truly the dynamics that play a significant role in the presentation, with slight changes in volume progressing through several pieces, leading to wonderful crescendos and dropping off to near silence.
Transients and overtones are a critical development of these pieces, and extremely creative use of these acoustic instruments is most notable on the fourth track Opio. Ambience has been added which provides some depth allowing for the music to float more freely as the hypnotic adventure continues.
This recording is a feast for those wishing to discover a new relationship between piano and drums, a collection of pieces that fuses these two distinctly percussive instruments into a polyrhythmic tapestry. Ambient music fans may also find Borderland to be a very compelling listen.