Album Release: 'The Boy' by Aaron Holm
Release date: 29 July 2016
Label: Dissolve Records
More info: Artist website
Aaron Holm is a Seattle-based producer and musician writing and performing experimental ambient and electronic compositions deep in the depths of the Emerald City. His fascination with ambient came during 1996 travels throughout Southeast Asia, where he listened to tapes of Future Sound of London, Scorn, and Shinjuku Thief while riding on trucks and longboats in Vietnam and Laos. Upon returning to Toronto, he put together his first electronic music studio in a warehouse above a furrier in Chinatown.
Aaron’s field recordings of the birds of the Pantanal and other tropical sounds are blended into his first album, 'Still Dreaming...' while his later ones, simplifying the accompanying textures, capture his travels through India and Pakistan. He’s also been deeply influenced by ambient and electronic pioneers such as Brian Eno, Future Sound of London, Richie Hawtin, Aphex Twin, Bjork, Massive Attack, and Loscil- who all feed indirectly into his work.
Holm took a decade break from music to focus on software and started three high profile technology companies over an 11-year period in Miami, New York, and Seattle before re-engaging with music and founding Dissolve Records in 2013. He sits on the Boards of several technology companies and Youth in Focus, a non-profit organisation that empowers urban youth through photography.
His ethereal mixes of real and imagined worlds continue in his organic new album, 'The Boy' in which Aaron explores the violence and isolation of the inner city boy as he grows, detaches and himself becomes a father. Pulsing, warm washes of sound in 'Little One’ explore the emotional push and pull of abandonment and a boy taken in and raised by all mothers. The woman’s voice represents the voice of the ocean calling to love and care for the boy.
Other tracks of note include, ‘Catch a Falling Star’, the story of a father’s love for his child and his heartbreak on hearing of the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown. On this one Holm says:
“On the morning of the shooting, my daughter’s first grade teacher sent out a recording of the children singing ‘Catch A Falling Star’. The recording is heard at the track start. As I heard the news of the school shooting, first graders were the victims, I pulled to the side of the road and cried. The voices in this track soothe broken hearts and the loss of innocence and brings the boy full circle from childhood to fatherhood.”
Sitting in the same space as contemporary artists like Taylor Deupree (who also mastered The Boy), Susumu Yokota, and Jon Hopkins, this haunting yet beautiful new album is filled with sonic solace, calmly bewitching the listener into a state of pure tranquillity.