Article by KevW
With most bands it only takes you a few seconds to whip out names of comparable groups, but then Haiku Salut aren't most bands. As with their debut album 'Tricolore', it's best to let them explain their sound: "Baroque-pop-folktronic-neo-classical-something-or-other". 'Etch And Etch Deep' is again a completely instrumental album (unless you count some cooed harmonies like those found on 'Hearts Not Parts' or the thundering build of 'Things Were Happening And They Were Strange', a title that sums up the band as well as anything), so they're taking their influence from sound more than stories or any form of social commentary - unless there is meaning hidden beneath their colourful patchwork.
This is a record that could be the work of some very intricate and varied music boxes at times, while on other occasions the Derbyshire trio mix the aforementioned baroque style with glitchy electronica, as they do with 'Divided By Surfaces And Silence'. Although this song is a pretty hefty contrast to the more classical and organic 'Doing Better' which follows it, never does this come across as a fractured set in any way. It's when that mixture of neo-classical, modern folktronica and retro electronics come together as one that Haiku Salut are at their most unique, and 'Things Were Happening And They Were Strange' is a prime example. The oddly-titled 'Becauselessness' shows this off as well, twinkling away while a bass-heavy beat judders along underneath.
The booming intro to 'Skip To The End' is dark and ominous, and when a near drum 'n' bass snare starts stuttering you feel it even more, but then what sounds like an accordion enters the fray and the mood changes. and the whole while you sense that's the point. Haiku Salut want to play with preconceived perceptions of music, they want to make the dark light, they want to use every tool at their disposal, and it could so easily go wrong, yet they continually get it right. 'The No-Colour Of Rain And Dust' is achingly pretty but also warped and slightly psychedelic; the echoing piano and harp of 'Foreign Pollen' makes it quite beautiful; playful single 'Bleak And Beautiful (All Things)' is still a treasure trove of ideas sown into a wonderful collage; and 'You Dance A Particular Algorithm' is as curious as its name suggests, again bringing together all of the aspects that make this band so special. A truly individual and fantastical album.
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