awinged

The music of Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie is littered with spellbinding accomplishment, and his most recent project with pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran is no exception. 2011 saw A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s self-titled debut introduce the duo as architects of a delicate ambient landscape; beguiling instrumentals carved into potent desolation. But while that LP took two years to craft, its follow-up was conceived and written in just four months – a sudden burst of creativity spurred on by choreographer Wayne McGregor’s request that Wiltzie and O’Halloran soundtrack a piece of long-form contemporary dance.

Perhaps it’s this intense period of labour – combined with total creative freedom – that allows ‘ATOMOS’ to surge with such coruscating clarity. And while they may still make sounds redolent of their debut, from the billowy piano on ‘ATOMOS III’ and dense orchestration of ‘ATOMOS VIII’, to the intense melancholia of ‘ATOMOS II’, it’s the shrewd addition of synths and subtle touches of electronica that add new emotional depths here.

There’s a warmth at the heart of this album that’s powerful enough to imbue ‘ATOMOS XI’ with distant hope, while leaving tracks such as ‘ATOMOS VI’ to sound like a world crumbled to dust. The result is eleven pieces of music (‘ATOMOS I – XII’ although curiously missing ‘IV’) that ring with a mini-maximalism unique to Wiltzie and O’Halloran, enveloping you deeper in their splendour with every listen.

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