Hermit Flying Out of Solitude

Vancouver-based artist Hamish Thomson's solo project has all the marks of an experimental foray into atmospheric electronica. At least, this is what the title of his debut release seems to hint at. Sequestered in the studio, Thomson is the "hermit" in question and the tracks are supposed to communicate the inferences of terming one's self a "hermit." All said and done, are the solitary efforts intricate journeys into experimental sound territory? Unfortunately the answer is no. Despite rummaging around for sounds and coming upon interesting possibilities, such as toaster ovens and a vintage air organ, as well as the meditative drone of a bagpipe on "Second Wave," the overall effect is pallid. On "Sunset Trail," Thomson sounds like he is vying for new age artist status, as the peaceful wash of delicate sounds seem like they belong on a Narada label release rather than falling under the experimental electronica rubric. If experimentation of the ambient variety is what listeners are looking for, perhaps some of the post-rock efforts of the likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor! or Dirty Three would be preferable. The myth of pretentiousness that may surround such groups aside, at least those experiments are worthy of awe (Nutone)