konntinent - opal island

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Among many obvious definitions of the ‘heart’ is this: ‘the vital center and source of one's being, emotions, and sensibilities’. It’s the first word I think of when I hear the work of Antony Harrison (the man behind the Konntinent moniker). And when you listen to his work, its really obvious why. The Konntinent sound is very much based on micro-elements I guess, at least this time around. Unlike his earlier drone-based work, ‘Opal Island’ has much more of Antony’s guitar playing to the fore, as it does the gorgeous vocals of Lisa Madisson on ‘Dry eyed’, as well as Antony’s own beautifully subtle singing. It has odd rhythms coming in and out, piano, weird glitchy sounds and tones I can’t quite place. Its all in the craftsmanship you see. Its very rare to come across an artist who actually makes ‘songs’ which can also be defined as ‘pieces’ – and as such his work is so hard to place. All I am left to do is to go back to the image of the heart. In Japan, there is a faux-English usage of the word, made adjective…the Japanese say ‘heartful’. Its on billboards, products and people use it all the time. Its basically used to describe something which is full of emotion and induces said emotion in others. Whilst the word admittedly does my head in when I am in Japan, in a nice and concise way it covers my feelings for the music Antony Harrison creates. Opal Island is a very ‘heartful’ album, as Antony is himself a very ‘heartful’ artist and songsmith.. And whilst linguists will not initially thank me, after hearing this record, you just might get what I mean. -- Ian Hawgood

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