TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Hannu Karjalainen - A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert
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The music of Finnish visual artist and filmmaker Hannu Karjalainen draws inspiration from Ambient, drone, modern classical and dream pop. A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert is his third album, following Worms In My Piano from 2007 and Hintergarten from 2009, and presents eight deeply engrossing instrumentals that will satisfy fans of Max Richter and The Caretaker.

Using guitar, piano, glockenspiel, strings and (in the closing track Breaks My Heart She Aria) a female vocal accompaniment, Karjalainen has created a wistful vibe, at once melancholy and uplifting. Opening gambit Angel will sound familiar to fans of Boards of Canada, its dreamlike melody setting the tone with muffled chords and grainy textures; further reinforced by hypnagogic passages like Love, Unconditional, The Emigrant and Love Is A Black Lion, that float by effortlessly. Positioned halfway through, the looped piano on the title track acts like a ghostly interlude.

Highlight for me is A Year In A Day, where the guitar melody somehow transports me back to childhood, ringing an old bell.

  • Rating: 9/10
  • Listens: 21
  • Highlight: A Year In A Day
  • Label: Karaoke Kalk
  • Release Date: 8th September, 2017
Hannu Karjalainen - A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert