A Winged Victory For The Sullen: A Winged Victory For The Sullen (CD, Erased Tapes, October 2011)

People laugh at me when I describe A Winged Victory For The Sullen as a post-classical/ambient/drone supergroup. Not quite sure why. To be fair, the description is stretching the point somewhat: both pianist/composer Dustin O'Halloran and Stars Of The Lids' Adam Wiltzie are pretty super, but two hardly makes a group; however, the record does include greats such as Peter Broderick on the violin and Hildur Gudnadottir on cello, and some tracks were recorded by Nils Frahm... So I think I can get away with it.

Anyway. This music, unsurprisingly, combines the rich drone of Stars Of The Lid with O'Halloran's delicate melodies. The strings are beautiful. And it is all perfectly recorded and mixed, in particular the piano, which seems to hover entrancingly just out of reach in front of me. The balance between these elements is subtle and perfectly judged, ebbing and flowing while never seeming in conflict. The effect is at once deep and accessible, and although there is a strong sense of yearning to this record it is hard not to describe it as ultimately uplifting.

I bought this from Juno. They describe it as Leftfield.