One of the rare producers who can simultaneously fill dance floors with moving bodies and the minds in those bodies with unspeakable yearnings, Nathan Jonson has predominantly released music under the Hrdvsion moniker for over a decade now, pairing up with Mathew Jonson occasionally as Midnight Operator. His records (and his large body of remix work for labels like Crosstown Rebels and Wagon Repair) have always seemed to occupy a more haunted, mystical space than those of his contemporaries, decorated with deceptively simple melodies weaving their way through a labyrinth of formant shifts and pitch distortions on their way to that great dance hall in the third eye.
This "In the End" EP, his first eponymous release, takes a different turn. Arriving just in time for the close of the sixteenth year of our third millennium, this music strips the "house" and "techno" out of Jonson's sound (and with them, the beats) and leaves us with the pure unadulterated mysticism that is only hinted at in his dance floor material.
The title track feels like nothing so much as the perfect denouement for the romances of this world and the one beyond, continually unfolding tendrils of gentle arpeggios weft with the sadness of the closing curtain. Gazing down the corridors of its 12 minute runtime leaves the listener in the same awestruck spaces as those conjured by masters of the ambient genre like Eno or William Basinski - the same soft, sentimental beauty emerges from the Philip Glass like mantric repetition, but hewn more from the sort of off color tonal palette that Wendy Carlos used to try to make music that sounded like 2016 in 1974. A lullaby for the future, if you will.
"Softly" perhaps sounds more like an introduction than an ending - a starward looking gaze into the unfolding possibilities of the future. Also best experienced on repeat, from now until the beginning, amen.