III: Chroma/Contour is the third album from Billow Observatory, the collaborative project of producer Jonas Munk (Manual) and Jason Kolb (Auburn Lull). The album's nine tracks eschew the pulse and rhythm that defined the duo's previous effort (II:Plains/Patterns) in favor of sparse melodic possibilities and a more abstract palette of sounds. Chroma/Contour suggests looking both 20 years forward and twenty years back, while forgetting the present altogether.
Much of the album plays out as a study in minimalism: the texture and colour of each sound is being explored in minuscule detail, with enough space in the soundfield to allow each sonic constituent to breathe fully. There's a conceptual dimension to several tracks on the album, with guitars, analog synths and voices being mangled by samplers, computer software and a broken dictaphone into pure abstraction. But simultaneously there's a melodic undercurrent, revealing a deeply emotional aspect of the music.
III: Chroma/Contour is now available for pre-order. Limited edition of 300 on transparent light blue vinyl. Comes shrink-wrapped with obi-strip and includes download card. LP ships out on or around February 8, 2019.
Billow Observatory is a trans-Atlantic duo consisting of Detroit's Jason Kolb (Auburn Lull) and Denmark's Jonas Munk (Manual). They have been working together since 2006.