"Noctilucent Valleys" comes from Jewelled Antler alumni Loren Chasse and Christine Boepple, the duo at the heart of recent, truly stunning, Softwar release. The sounds on this disc are a world away from relatively pristine sonic environments of the Softwar disc.
Softwar came bearing brainloads of unfiltered sunlight, Ov is a collection of twilight clouds and atmospheric vapours that dissipate before you can truly get a handle on them. This album?s ten cuts feel like late night meditations on some imagined land, full of personal mythologies and encrypted whisperings.
The sound is gauzy and analogue. I could be entirely wrong, but I get the impression that these pieces were recorded live to tape with little or no overdubbing.
"Arms of the Mountain" begins with some chiming strings (immediately recalling the Blithe Sons eldritch sound environments) and insistently pulsing electronics. Soon enough the song has evolved into an organic drone that will permeate the rest of the album (perhaps symbolising the descent into the valley of the album?s title). "Spring Clock" is all metallic chiming and otherworldly clanging, sounding something like a more tranquil Volcano the Bear.
The album alternates between these two basic modes, metallic strings and earthy drone, each section flowing into the next with dream-state fluidity. It works best taken as a whole, its cumulative effect is both lulling and transcendental.
"Noctilucent Valleys" is akin to a secret pleasure, kind of like a midnight walk through a sleeping village with only the breeze and the crickets for company. 9/10 -- Cola Nitida (22 May, 2007)