net – HS

Written and produced under the alias of net, Edward Trethowan’s ‘HS’ delves deep into the realms of ambient and abstract electronica. An intelligent mix of slowly moving synth pads and sparse electronic drums are carefully combined, resulting in a complimentary contrast. The overall atmosphere within the album is completed with a scattering of ghostly samples, ranging from the open sounds of landscapes, the innocence of wildlife, and the endearing tribute of historic recordings. Throughout, there is a likeness to artists such as Loscil and Autechre, as well as similarities to the subtler outputs of Aphex Twin. I find that in listening to ‘HS’, I am drawn to the sonic nuances that rest beneath the main instrumentation, enhanced by Trethowan’s highly effective use of the stereo field. The album joins Whitelabrecs’ extensive discography, receiving its initial release earlier in February, and proves to be a rewarding listen from start to finish. ‘Same Fabric’, the album’s penultimate track, stands out following a number of listens; its cautious arrangement, selective dissonance, and impressive sound palette drift pleasantly before the track opens up with focused rhythmic orchestration.