Lifting the Leaves: Aaberg’s Tape Treated Guitar Meditations

You are currently viewing Lifting the Leaves: Aaberg’s Tape Treated Guitar Meditations
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  • Post last modified:June 24, 2020
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Finding an album that you can disappear into like a reverie is a rare pleasure. Calf, the newest release from Aaberg (aka Hunter Mockett) seems to be fit for that exact purpose. It’s an album of thoughtfully constructed guitar music which dissolves the world outside, creating space for your mind to roam. 

Listen Now: Aaberg – Calf

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‘Calf’ follows a slightly more ambient and experimental direction than Mockett’s previous releases. He has abandoned the drum programming entirely, leaving our attention to rest mainly on his controlled guitar meanderings. When the vocals are introduced they don’t dominate the mix. Instead, they provide another layer of texture which weaves in amongst the guitar lines. Speaking of his recording methods, Mockett says, “The process can change a lot with each release but it’s always recorded in my room and onto tape. I normally don’t show anyone anything until it’s all done.” 

There is something uniquely dissonant about Calf which is hard to pin down, feeling somehow peaceful and haunted at the same time. The soft, ambient tape hiss and delay soaked guitar take you up into the cloud bank – yet you can almost feel the four corners of the bedroom where these songs were strung together. Lyrically, Mockett’s songs have a fractured, dream-like quality. “Some of them are about something like an experience or interaction, but it’s more the echo of it”, he explains. “The lyrics are often fragments or images rather than definitive narratives. I try to keep the meaning at arms length and not shape the song into what I think it should be, more just let it speak for itself and trust the feeling I get from it.” 

Mockett is among a growing number of bedroom producers who are opting for analogue rather than digital recording methods. It’s difficult to imagine his music sounding quite the same if it weren’t recorded straight to tape. Yet he isn’t one to make claims about analogue superiority – “I don’t think it matters as long as what you’re making is real and honest. I use tape because for me that’s the most organic way of doing things, but for someone else it could be their laptop. You can really use whatever is at your disposal, even if it sounds shit. If the feeling is there it will shine through and people will get it.”

Follow Aaberg on Bandcamp.

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