“Maa antaa yon vaientaa” is as captivating as it is alienating. The third album by Finnish Post-Rock extravaganza HORTE is a dark and mesmerizing journey that is best consumed in one sitting – or else you’ll miss all the dramatic arcs. HORTE demand your undivided attention.
“If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss will also stare back into you”, Nietzsche found. It is this existential experience that is the brooding essence of Maa antaa yon vaientaa. Every musical idea is based essentially on emotional dispositions, which unravel as the idea is sketched, developed, then thrust into the abyss… only to echo back and find bleak resonance within the very heart that initially gave birth to it. Listening to these echoes is deeply cathartic, and an integral part of the HORTE experience.
HORTE‘s music feels intangible and immaterial, yet candid and real at the same time. There are moments when it feels like the band draws you closer, but they never quite let you pierce the veil between you and them. “Our principal goal is to keep the focus on the music without highlighting us as individuals”, says singer Riikka.
It is her otherworldly but ultimately pacifying voice which inevitably places HORTE’s dreamy, psychedelically distorted soundscapes in the far North. Besides the vocals, the bass is the most prominent and most tangible element in these soundscapes, standing tall between eerie synth clouds, broken beats and a voice that oscillates between subdued aspiration and bitter laments.
Field recordings and sound collages stand at the beginning of the group’s songwriting process, collected material from differing stratums that gets processed into a skeletal pre-composition, before the whole band arranges the pieces together. “Our way is to work with the material as long as it takes for the piece to figure itself out. Sound comes with it. There is always a compositional vision of how the pieces should sound in a broader sense”, says Riikka.
The Finish Four piece released their self-titled debut album via SVART Records in 2017, heralded for its dense atmosphere between post rock, shoegaze and nordic psychedelia. ”Materialising as if from nowhere, it’s just possible the Finnish enigma known as HORTE really are from another realm”, Ja Ja Ja Music wrote. The band made an impression at the 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival, to which they have returned this year as part of the Pelagic Records showcase.
Maa antaa yon vaientaa (“Let the earth be silenced by night”) was recorded by the band at their homes and at Tonehaven Studio in Tampere, Finland. As an outside observer, Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu) worked with Horte on the production. The album was mixed by Saku Tamminen (Dark Buddha Rising).
”Repeating verses as mantras, they have the power of dragging you amidst the dreamy domain that Horte has built.” – PopMatters