As if you really needed any other small labels with a growing stable of great artists to keep track of, Apestaartje has been releasing great things from artists in the ambient electronic and field recording genres for some time now. One of the best artists on the entire label is Brendon Anderegg (who releases albums under his last name), and Mountains is the newest project between he and musician Koen Holtkamp (Aero). Together, the duo (who also co-founded the label) create a wide-ranging batch of beautiful music that has roots in organic instrumentation and works hand in hand subtlely with electronic processing.
Originally, the duo collaborated on the project as a live project foremost, but eventually decided that they would document their output and release it when the time felt right. The resulting album is four long tracks (almost an hour total running length) that stretch and blur time in delightful ways through their patient combination of sounds. The opening track "Paper Windmill" starts with warm electric piano chords mingling with electric guitar plucks before what sounds like the field recording of cicadae drift in and out. As the track progresses, sustained drones of cello, as well as the lingering notes of piano and guitar all swirl together before again pulling back into soft hums.
"Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass" is even more sparse, mixing quiet acoustic guitar plucks and sine waves before the guitar part pulls together into a lovely, contemplative melody while field recordings and a soft hiss creep in. At just under six minutes, "Blown Glass Typewriter" is the shortest track on the release and but still flickers and pulses with a warm life as stuttering guitar notes mingle with played ones and piles of overlapping tones shift quietly in the background.
"Sunday 07.25.04 Live At Tonic" is the lengthiest track on the release (just over twenty minutes) and also the least inviting on first listen. Opening with what sounds like filtered insect noises, the track doesn't sound unlike something Francisco Lopez might do. Then, before you know it, the opening sound has morphed into something that resembles a subdued steam engine sound while sad, lingering tones start creeping in. About halfway through, another shimmering wash mixes in alongside delayed guitars and for the remainder of the track makes you hang on every lingering note. It's gorgeous, and a stunning close to the release. If you enjoy the work of Oren Ambarchi, Christian Fennesz, or 1 Mile North, this is a lovely little release that you'll want to seek out right away.