It is increasingly common for electronic producers to turn to field recordings for inspiration as they create their own personal interpretations of life today. Few do it as well as Hidden Orchestra’s Joe Acheson though. His ‘Dawn Chorus’ is wholly inspired by nature, and in particular the sounds of birds on what feels like an invigorating summer morning. Dawn comes with the sounds of blackbirds and sparrows in the middle distance, creating a lovely sense of perspective on headphones, before the music itself begins to awaken with ‘First Light’. Acheson’s attention to detail and prowess as an orchestrator is clear in the way he sensitively manipulates his original recordings with tuned percussion, more exotic instruments (‘Alyth’) and delicate piano (on the gorgeous ‘Wingbeats) The mellow tone of the viola adds an autumnal air to the closing ‘East London Street’, which effectively brings the album full circle, the sun now higher in the sky. A start to the day with ‘Dawn Chorus’ is the equivalent of a very personal sonic meditation, Acheson sharing his memories and innermost thoughts with his listener on a confidential basis. It is a beautiful album that lasts long in the memory.

Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5