Alter is the new album from Belgium-based double bass player and electronic producer Otto Lindholm.
Divided into four colour-inspired, long-form movements, Alter takes off from Lindholm’s previous work - a self-titled album released in 2015 on Icarus Records, and pushes the already abundant palette of sounds even further. This new work is more brooding and hypnotic. A deep, resonating bass is present - hinting at the likes of Greek, chamber-doom merchants Mohammad but perhaps with more attention placed upon textures and melody.
The record moves at a funereal pace and opener Fauve hits abyssal depths from the outset. A bowed melody is coaxed through the throbbing bass with dissonant harmonics drawing you in and holding you close. The ghostly beginnings of Alyscamps create an overwhelmingly tense atmosphere where acoustic and electronic elements collide and evolve into a heaving, ceremonious drone. Shafts of light emerge through the fog but the tone remains a haunted one. Closer, Heliotrope, strikes a more hopeful note. A lighter, more open feel emerges - bringing to mind early work of The Rachels or perhaps Deaf Center.
Alter is a triumphant record in its entirety. Seamlessly moving from light to shade and back again, experimenting in heavy atmosphere and ultimately drawing you into its deep and mysterious world.
Some words from Otto Lindhom on the album: “My original idea was to work on the melody and the play of the arco, looking for expressive music from this combination. To do it, I first decided to work on 'modes' and their specific color. With these modes I could work on tensions, frictions and color shading. Working on the melody aspect, I was looking to go beyond the romantic, easy listening or sentimentalizing, trying to suggest more than an expression of concrete emotions.
Naturally, a kind of impressionist, musical approach appeared to me where I could simply develop and enhance the music I was playing/writing. With my daughter about to born and my strong wish to record new music, this spurred me to work efficiently. I had no time or space for deviations, forcing me to sculpt the music as it came out, enjoying and contemplating a sort of rawness in my play and direction.”