Freewheeling through time and space, Kris Needs continues his adventures in sound. This month: Pinhdar

I’m very happy to announce that Nina and I have relocated to a paradise bunker in a secret location that’ll be the perfect spot to bring home her biography and start some exciting new projects. 

Life was certainly a lot different three years ago during lockdown, looking after my mum and dog Jack who were both not long for this world. A rare oasis came in the form of the strikingly evocative album created in pandemic isolation by Milan-based duo Pinhdar. Produced by Howie B from his studio in France, ‘Parallel’ features singer Cecilia Miradoli and multi-instrumentalist/producer Max Tarenzi reacting against their city’s strict early lockdown by creating a work of minimal electronic beauty, shot with human gut emotion at the surreal tableaux unfolding around the world. 

The album was released through esteemed UK psych label Fruits De Mer after the duo impressed at the 2019 launch of my ‘Just A Shot Away’ memoir. The event, that also featured the label’s flagship space rockers Sendelica on the bill, doubled as a tribute to my recently passed Helen. She’d been close friends with Cecilia, who actually gave her Jack! Last August, after seducing Sendelica’s 19th Dream Of Dr Sardonicus Psychedelic Festival in Cardigan, Pinhdar stopped off in Bath to finish their monolithic second album ‘A Sparkle On The Dark Water’ with producer Bruno Ellingham (Massive Attack, UNKLE). Reflecting on a post-pandemic planet collapsing in manifold ways, the album is trailered by the singles ‘Humans’ and ‘Little Light’. 

Still flying the duo’s trademark trip hop beats and dreampop melodic textures, it unfurls a denser, expansively evolved sound with Cecilia’s impassioned vocals surrounded by Max’s swirling pyramids of synths, guitars and scorched earth soundscapes. Both singles boast stunning videos directed by the Mexican filmmaker Telavaya Reynolds. Elsewhere, tracks such as the sweepingly poignant ‘Murders Of A Dying God’, breakbeat-bolstered ‘Frozen Roses’ and desolate ballad ‘Abysses’ building to epic orchestral heights further highlight this masterclass in charging electronica templates with a rare human soul.

As I hop back into our new “Cosmic Hutch”, where our monthly YouTube podcasts of the same name have resumed, watch out for my old mate Youth’s interpretation of my old NY neighbour Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Iron Horse’ poem about a 1966 train journey across America. Published briefly in 1973, it now has a dreamy psychedelic drone bed to stretch out on as the trip unfolds. Boyng!

‘A Sparkle On The Dark Water’ is released by Fruits De Mer

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