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AAA Music | 23 May 2024

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| On 01, Dec 2016

Hidden Orchestra are back with their Wingbeats EP release with Tru Thoughts and this time they set to bust the intricate approach of composer/producer Joe Acheson wide open for all to hear. The EP is comprised of it’s chief composition “Wingbeats” and 6 source tracks, all composed for the purpose of feeding into the cardinal single.

In this way, “Wingbeats” is numerous tracks – both the parts and the whole of itself, the trees and the forest. Acheson prepared tracks that are vivid and naturalistic, transporting the mind on a hike though the snow dressed dawns of the French Alps and chirping creatures of a rural British garden. When all the sources are weaved together the lead track is born.

Overall, “Wingbeats” not being a very dynamic track, easily and progressively washes along its 12 minute runtime. An entire ecosystem seems to exist in my listening space that I am free to wander through and wonder about its elements, of which there are obviously many; the movements of the song journey through darkness and light in turn. Different forces slowly soothe their way into the mix while others fade to the background. It really feels like being within a bustling but airy forest the way there is so much activity yet it never feels like a barrage of sounds or too weighed down by its many interlocking components.

There is much to say about the 23 minutes of opulently crafted sample sources that come in the form of 6 tracks following “Wingbeats”. From “Source I” to “Source VI” every moment flaunts its validity in appearing in its naked form for our appreciation, showing every piece of the final puzzle to be essential listening in themselves. Having these bundled in an EP with the fantastic and visionary alpine vacation that is “Wingbeats” makes this whole work all the more significant.

Wingbeats Source V: Drums” turned out a personal favourite of the sources. The soft reverberations and clatter of what at least sounds like two drummers going at once (assuming their recording line up resembles their live), meaning that even the track one would least expect to hold its own atmospheric weight within such a scenically dense work comes across with a soundscape as full of life as any other, albeit with less of a nature flavour. “Wingbeats Source I: Bird Table” and “III: Piano and Wings” both display these lingering atmospheres in ways quite different to each other yet they compliment each other so well, as does every track here. All in all, it’s really most pleasant.

Craig Doporto

Review Overview

Craig Doporto


All in all, it’s really most pleasant.