Blue Hole is a one-man project from Washington who recently released Neon Clouds. It’s a twelve-song DIY full-length which has a mixed bag of genres. Shoegaze, experimental and ambient are genres that come to mind. Some of the songs contain vocals and some don’t. When he does sing it's hushed, monotone and sometimes sounds like he is in the pits of despair.
The production/recording quality is mixed and about average for a complete DIY effort. Some songs fare better than others. For example a song like ”Ultraviolet Scorpion” sounded muddy compared to “False Nostalgia For Teenage Summer Afternoon.”
Up first is “Graduation” which contains reverb laced guitars that create a dreamlike, atmospheric quality to the song. His vocals work well in the mix and about a minute in I was really enjoying the mix of elements. Once the distortion comes the production starts to buckle just a bit but I still thought it sounded great.
“Organized In Hills” goes by quick but I felt like it was one of the highlights. The soaring arc around the two-minute mark is one of the most inspired moments on the album. Another highlight is the next song “Frigid Dream” which is a very sparse and open soundscape. Oceans waves against pretty guitar parts make for a tranquil mood.
“False Nostalgia For Teenage Summer Afternoon” seems to have some influence from MBV while “Cognitive Reflux” falls closer in line with “Frigid Dream.” The one song that felt out of place was “Ultraviolet Scorpion” which seemed like it could have been the riff to an ’80s metal song. As the album progresses they are some impressive soundscapes with “Submerged In A Raindrop” being the most engaging and reminding me somewhat of Oneohtrix Point Never.
I can’t say Neon Clouds has cutting edge production techniques but there were some solid songs that were a pleasure to listen to. I’m interested to hear how he evolves from here.
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