Review: Andrew Henry – Salvation

Andrew Henry - SalvationA phrase caught my eye on the release page for Salvation: “minor improvisation”. Tiny accidents, subtle responses. Like a marble on a table-top, drastically responsive to the tiniest of surface tilts. On this 38-minute track, transition accumulates from the momentum built from infinitesimal flickers in thought – new drones filter into the picture like light through the blinds, gradually teasing open the opportunity for change. The sounds are smooth like lattices of water molecules, and even the pulses of piano loop are rendered blurry and indistinct as if observed underwater. I imagine Henry allowing his body to fall limp; consciousness drains away, and the piece drifts through its journey carried by the currents of instinct.

The changes in emotional hue are unexpected. What starts as a state of major-key equilibrium tips into states of anxiety and heavy sadness; a churn of manipulated tape at four minutes sounds like someone drowning quietly, while the little piano notes at 14 minutes sound like dry petals breaking away from a dying flower. I slip into shadow and emerge again, sent through gentle cycles of unease and recovery – each state is subtle and somewhat distant, like bad and pleasant memories surging back into view, the emotional connection withered by time. Misery fades out, replaced by the hazy organ spirals and florescent lights of a fairground coughing out of dead tape. Like so many aspects of Salvation, it’s recalled in fragments of nostalgic sensory jolt; a childhood fondly forgotten, warmer in retrospect.