Growing: The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light (Kranky, 2004)

by Jason

Growing HarmonyGrowing consists of Kevin Doria on bass and guitar and Joe Denardo on guitar. Hailing from New York City, this instrumental band comes at you with shimmering sounds, ambient soundscapes, and crushing fuzz. The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light is Growing’s second release on the Kranky label and they certainly prove that they have the ability to create a powerful ambiance.

“Onement” begins with shimmery, spacey guitars that create a feel of void. It’s as if Growing was putting out their first sonic paintbrush for all to hear and create in the listener a sense of anticipation for the next sonic stroke. Slowly, patiently, Growing begins to add hums and texture to the mix. This hum eventually overpowers the spacey sounds and the duo lay out another brush for all to relish in. This hum is textured and varied in places, making the sound more organic rather than like a loop. About have way through the piece, it begins to sound like ocean waves and perhaps a little like keyboards playing among them. The hum returns and a shimmering kind of fuzz visits the ears. Eventually, all the sonic brushes come together to create a beautiful soundscape that is quite moving. As the song comes to a close, the fuzziness of the tune becomes overwhelming and then silence. “Anaheim II” begins with huge, fuzzed out guitars. This entrance flows perfectly out of the crescendo of “Onement.” There are spacey keys that mingle with the stereophonic fuzz. This is definitely an experiment in unending noise loops. This is a continual seven-minute track of very unusual fuzz.

“Epochal Reminiscence” begins with the growing guitar sound that hums warmly through the speakers. This hum is peaceful and glowing. It’s amazing how the duo is able to sustain sounds with their guitars. It’s a demonstration of patience and control. There are guitar notes that dance amid the hum. This track also has the patient, controlled feel of the track before, but in a more calming sort of way rather than in the fuzzed out grating way. About 15 minutes into the track, the hum becomes warmer and quieter. “Primitive Associations/Great Mass Above” begins with birds chirping in the background. This sets a soothing, early morning sort of feel. Then, a hum and bright shimmer comes into the mix amid the birds. This sort of track is perfect for relaxation and contemplation. Eventually, storm clouds roll in and thunder and rain come into the mix. The thunder and rain roll in amidst moody, floating keys and shimmering noises. This is twelve minutes of beautiful ambient noise and samples of natural elements. I think this is my favorite track on the disc.

Growing is a duo of experts in careful, patient ambient soundscapes. From obstinate fuzz to glimmering, peaceful moments, The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light has all the right range for a beautiful, ambient journey.

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