Drone-makers Hotel Neon return with a stunning album of composed thoughts and deeply textured atmospheres. Context is all about how we, as listeners, interpret and translate a song’s original meaning. The subjectivity of music, a vital part of its heartbeat, its magic and charm, gifts a song multiple angles and meanings – sometimes far away from the artist’s original intentions. Music can be shaped by both the listener’s inner and outer environments: the state of the current weather, the shifting of moods, and experiences, positive, negative or neutral, that we shoulder day-by-day. To anyone, everywhere, Context will have a unique, shifting message that can only be decoded by the listener alone, and that in turn also makes it a personal album, clasped like a necklace and hanging close to the listener’s heart.
Context is arguably the only thing that gives a song its meaning in the mind of a listener…
The direct message of a track title has disappeared. Vague symbols have usurped them, unable as they are to contain any kind of subliminal message. As a result of this, the listener has been given a lot more freedom to interpret the music as they see fit – they put the ambient washes of sound into a context of their own making. Everyone has a different perspective.
The sculpted and scooped soundscapes blur against the backdrop of closed eyes. Lilting tones and shifting ambient atmospheres swirl like midnight fog, with the dull lucidity of a long, late night bleeding into the early morning and its disembodied atmosphere steadily glowing and fading. The spectral sounds of Hotel Neon border on the invisible and their deep atmospheres invite a deeper level of listening. Only then can the listener begin to dream up a series of rainy imaginings or whatever else appears to float around in the amniotic fluid of unborn thoughts.
All that’s left is a concept of time moving steadily onwards, of a restless night warming into the washed-out relief of an apricot sunrise. By its close, an angelic light has spread throughout the layers of sound, bringing brighter and softer sounds of infiltrating hope. Some common themes are picked up on by more than one listener, and yet even these images can be thought of as a subjective interpretation of the music. Context is blessed with an appearance from Japanese ambient artist Hakobune, increasing the tonal saturation and the levels of calm atonement. Some drones are thinner than others, almost washing away in their transparency. Accompanied by the stunning photography of Nieves Mingueza, Context is left open for you to discover alone. It involves and surrounds you. As Mike says, ‘What can seem brilliantly bright to one person may seem dark to another depending on their vantage points’.
Release Date: 24.04.17
Record label: Fluid Audio
Music written, recorded and produced by Hotel Neon
Textures and arrangement on “4:10 AM” by Takahiro Yorifuji
Vocals on “6:59 AM” and “8:30 AM” by Lacey Tasselmyer.
Mixing and additional production by Matthew Kidd
Mastering by Taylor Deupree
Artwork by Nieves Mingueza