This is a concept album centered round the moorland area on the edge of the UK’s Yorkshire Dales National Park, which served as both a place of escape and inspiration for composer Dennis Huddleston aka 36.
The 40-minute “Heather Spa”, which was the catalyst for the 36 album “Shadow Play”, takes off with expansive string textures containing a lush sense of melody as it evolves in a minimalist way while leaving behind a melancholic scent. The contemplative, introspective feel continues on the drony textural “Dangerous Days”, another sedate sonic outing. This one and the title piece are actually different to the original versions found on the “Shadow Play” release.
The highlight though is the 15-minute “Heather Spa (Burning)”, where slow, lush string pads along subtle environmental sounds visualize the saddening imagery of disaster. The After Dark Reprise version of “Shadow Play” feels a bit strange and disorientating at the end of sonic narrative, though staying in the same repetitive mode. As such, despite a feel of solace, I wouldn’t call “Heather Spa” an uplifting recording.
This Ep is part of the A Strangely Isolated Place (ASIP) series and available as free download.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Three-Six(36) artist page
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