Once again, we’re pairing an EP from The Hidden with a compilation from the same label. The cover of The Science Museum is a symbol of bloom, rising from the white landscape of Winter Days.
Aviary Bridge Records continues to exemplify chill no matter what the season. Already in its first five years, the Netherlands label has become the natural heir of Hed Kandi, a classic label famous not only for winter compilations such as Serve Chilled and Winter Chill, but summer series such as Beach House. Not content to rest on its laurels, Aviary Bridge has also launched the monthly 10″ Zodiac Series and already addressed Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces and Aries, each release from a different artist.
Spring Nights, Summer Days and Autumn Nights are now joined by Winter Days, which completes the series. Once again, a wide array of artists is included, each with a surprisingly short piece: 19 tracks fly by in only 41 minutes. Kust’s “Cold Morning” begins with the sound of snow, setting the stage for an evening by the fire. The static used by RINZ., Tabi and others seems like the crackle of tinder. Light chimes and cold running water permeate “Joyride,” while the titles “Wind,” “Crispy,” “Cycling in Winter,” and “Frosted Glass” evoke specific aspects of the season. There’s nary a hint of danger, no frostbite, isolation or snowblindness. A relaxing vibe is the rule; the set seems designed to comfort and enfold. Our favorite piece: rocomoco & The Hidden’s “Winter,” whose warm guitar and head-nodding beats would make a perfect soundtrack to a few minutes spent staring through the window at the snow while enjoying a cup of tea.
And this brings us to The Hidden‘s EP The Science Museum, which adds samples to the mix, in the vein of Public Service Broadcasting’s early work prior to hitting the mainstream. To misquote Led Zeppelin, “Does anybody remember science?” The discipline explains climate change, pandemic risks, and all those pesky facts conservatives like to avoid.
The title track is a throwback to childhood science classes, paired with the early Technicolor days. Each shares a similar attribute: a sense of wonder that so many things might be possible. In this era, the sense is a rare treasure. “1989” offers hip-hop horns, scratching, James Brown yelps and a hint of documentary teaching. First single “Wonders of the World” becomes even more hypnotic thanks to the twirling video, as seen above. But the heart of the EP is its opening statement: “We Are All Free.” We are free to believe flat earth theories. We are free to invent new technologies. We are free to live our own lives. We are free to adopt this sentence as a mantra. Why imprison ourselves when the world already has too many cages? (Richard Allen)