INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Prog APRIL 2021 - by Mike Barnes
FOVEA HEX: THE SALT GARDEN (LANDSCAPED)
Steven Wilson-remixed Irish avant-folk sounds, with added Eno.
Clodagh Simonds is best known as vocalist in the early-'70s progressive folk band Mellow Candle and for her work with Mike Oldfield, so naturally her ensemble, Fovea Hex, has attracted collaborators from the prog and experimental fields. The Salt Garden trilogy of EPs, released on Steven Wilson's Headphone Dust label, feature haunting, slowly unravelling songs, which makes them ideal remix material and these remixes date from 2016. On Is Lanza Light And Given piano notes hang in space like Brian Eno's Neroli, as keyboards drift across like sheets of mist around Simonds' voice, with more ominous synths looming in the distance. On the original instrumental, strings and keyboards ebb and flow followed by periods of silence and Wilson extends these elements into a spartan chamber piece with echoes of Arvo Pärt. The CD version includes Serbia soundscaper Abul Mogard's beautifully desolate twenty-minute We Dream All The Dark Away with a series of images sketched out by his synthesiser and Kate Ellis' cello, and vocals by Simonds and Brian Eno. Peter Chilvers also contributes in an exquisite piano-led recasting of the 2015 single By The Glacial Lake.