A curious glance at the list of inspirations on Holon’s website says it all, really. There’s Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes, but there’s also Jaga Jazzist, Arcane Roots and Indian fusion group Shakti. Oh, and David Lynch and Aldous Huxley are chucked in for good measure, too.
Holon is the brainchild of metamorphic Norwegian musician Ronny Pedersen, who has channelled his journey towards a Buddhist lifestyle into an exploratory, kaleidoscopic and most importantly, hugely impressive debut album. It juggles genres like hot potatoes; Dancer In The Sky is Radiohead reincarnated, while Time To Go melts into a keyboard blowout fit for any of the 70s prog kings. A large chunk of Holon’s charm is making music that fits snugly in 2016, yet manages to keep one foot in the fuzzy, warm glow of the nostalgic past. It’s a heady cocktail of styles, feel and aura, but surprisingly it never feels forced, with Muse mingling with Pat Metheny, Mellotron meshing with sitar. And with contributions from Jaga Jazzist and White Willow members, it’s not just a one-man show, with plenty of firepower behind the brains too. For a debut album, this is seriously sumptuous stuff.