Colossal Halo by ホテル shampoo dreamtone review

Colossal Halo

ホテル shampoo


Liam Murphy

February 8, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

This stunning release presents feelings of deep sadness and epiphanic wonder in beautifully fluid ambient loops

In many ways, contemplation is a cyclical process. Whether it be through grief, happiness or anywhere in between, it is about circling back around to a moment or a thought and approaching it from different angles. Understanding its value and its beauty from a number of different perspectives. This is the process represented beautifully on Colossal Halo. With each track standing at 20 minutes, the artist ホテル shampoo invites the listener along on a deeply immersive listening experience. Another addition to the growing sub-genre of dreamtone, the overarching sound is meditative. Rather than overwhelming the listener, the release chooses a more patient style sending euphoric loops around in slow and steady revolutions.

The first track is undoubtedly sombre, with solemn glacial pads emerging from beneath thick feedback. The first note in the loop lifts the listener up, with the next note offering a numb sadness. ホテル shampoo’s choice of melody is a bittersweet salve, cascading into a group of notes in quick succession at the end of the repeated sequence that burrow deeper down into this touching aura. There is movement within the ambient noise as the first note of the revolving sequence begins, what sounds almost like crashing waves. But ホテル shampoo works this sound so gently alongside the melodic pad that it is barely noticeable. Such is the incredible nuance of the best dreamtone releases.

Though the format and methodology of the second track is similar, the feeling is very different. A wistful solemnity is replaced with a sublime feeling of spiritual realisation. A collage of formless pads embrace each other in long sweeping notes. Though there are tributary moments in the sequence, notes that wander a little from the triumphant energy, everything seems to be travelling up ever higher towards a gleaming, endless light source. Though that revolving style remains, this time ホテル shampoo brings us back around to a moment of emotive bliss. The listener is caught in a cyclical feeling of happiness tantamount to a religious epiphany.

The subtle style of dreamtone affords an artist a perfect opportunity to hold the listener within one solitary feeling, and this is an opportunity that ホテル shampoo capitalises on in such a tremendous way. Held in a state of suspended animation, we are met with waves of sorrow in the first track and rapture in the next. Colossal Halo feels cosmological in its scope, but deeply personal at the same time.