“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” . A quote often attributed to Frank Zappa but possibly actually said by someone called Martin Mull. Whoever said it – if anyone did at all is moot. For once it feels that the quote rings true. Pando (not to be confused with Pando from Utah) are Adam Bryant and Matt Gagne. They utilise field recordings, voicemails, manipulated sounds from their lives and conversations of family and friends. These are used as the sonic part of the project. This is augmented by photographs, artwork , poetry and quotes from around the globe to create the project that is Hiraeth.

Listening to this on bandcamp or soundcloud is pointless. It would be like eating with a cold or having sex with a local anaesthetic.  Hiraeth is a multi-sensory experience. It stimulates, infuriates, soothes and excites in equal measure. The opening piece “House Poem” ends with gabba like beats which seem quite in keeping even though the previous 15 minutes have had nothing in common with that style.

“Too Hunters” is like Future Sounds of London fed through Cock and Ball Torture and the bleakest black metal.  So wonderful. How much I would love to drop this in a pub or club but fear that the punters may have a psychotic break.

There is just so much going on over the 5 tracks. To find time to listen – really listen – is key. There are albums you can work to, work out to, drive to, make love to, rock out to. This really is an album you need to submit to.

Is it pretentious? Not today. If I listen next week then maybe it will be. This is not a snatch and grab plug in and play collection. It is also not a convoluted mishmash of raw noise. This is a carefully layered piece of art that offers beauty and horror in equal measure. It needs headphones, a dark room, an open mind and an hour with no distractions. It’s a gift. A holiday from the mundane. Like all gifts it may not always be the right one. But……when it’s time comes it could be the salve that your electronically battered soul needs.

Peace/love (how can I give this a mark?)

Matt Mason