[haven] - [A2982]

Though I haven’t heard material from [haven] before, I knew the name of this project some time. His Naos album got some pretty good reviews and his first album is already sold out if I’m not mistaken. The music of [haven] has far more technoid elements then I thought at first, and also more experimental in sound. The music sounds very refreshing to me and has a real interesting approach in creating atmospheres. On the Rage in Eden site I read that if David Lynch would make his version of Alice in Wonderland, he would use this album as the soundtrack. That would not be far off the map, and should give you an idea of what to expect, or what not expect, really. The album is pretty unpredictable throughout, with great use of samples.

With the first track, [aniladam], we really begin our trip down the rabbit hole; with sweet melodies and some vocal samples of a little girl and an old man. Then there are some distorted sounds that seem to disrupt the sweet world we were entering. The second track, [predestination], sounds more ominous. Some samples are repeated about someone whose body is falling apart and some scraping sounds around it. Real ominous synths give the whole sound a claustrophobic feel. This sounds like something Wendy Carlos would have used in the opening credits of The Shining. The third track, [resonance], is very rhythmic and has a technoid beat in it. Also, this song uses some nice Eastern samples. With [reminiscence] we get to track 4, which has some nice arpeggiated synths and a lot of bleeps surrounding it. Following this track we get into Eastern atmospheres again with track 5, [seven:A2982 part I]. This one sets a pretty good mood and is really immersive. Track 6, [vacuum], is a kind of space track, with some beats and bleeps thrown in. Track 7, [pulsar:A2982 part II], starts with some heavy synths and later gets a technoid beat with it. Some real nice piano sounds are also to be heard. With its beats and synths this is almost an accessible electro track for some club play. Track 8, [the longest journey], is more ambient, in which you can let yourself float and lose your mind. Track 9, [broken], sounds a little like the title and is a more experimental track. Some computer voice talks about a broken transmission, which indeed feels like it. We end the album with track 10, [face in the mirror], which starts very ambient with some drumming in the background. More sounds are added as the song progresses and it gets a cinematic quality; it’s the end of an epic journey!

Throughout the album there are melodic and experimental parts, that make listening to the album very interesting; ranging from nice little melodies, to a more Eastern sound. The album as a whole is really immersive and you can let yourself suck into this world time and time again. The album is not very long, around 42 minutes and has 10 tracks, but in this way has no filler tracks. The whole album feels like a trip into the unknown, thus the Alice in Wonderland reference is a good example. Great work, so I better check the previous albums.

-FvdM- (originally published in Gothtronic)

Grade: 8.5

Artist: [haven]
Label: Rage In Eden
Genre: Ambient / IDM
Format: CD
Year: 2008