Under the Radar: Himalaya

One-man band from Portland provides perfect soundtrack for this shitty winter


The Mountain

I’m iced in again. Winter just won’t release the South from her blue-knuckled, frost-bitten grips. It seems like she’s got us by the ankle, her fingers welded to our lower extremity, and her breath crawling up our leg, freezing every hair and cracking every pour in a spiteful last whisper of “Hell is not a furnace, but a tundra.”

The North probably has it worse, but at least cities are prepared for this type of thing up there.

There are no snowplows, no rock ice trucks, the only people with chains on their tires seem to be cops, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my apartment complex with an actual ice scraper. It’s quite a scene.

As I sit here in my living room, alone and in dim light, the city is completely silent except for the occasional whirring of tires getting stuck in ice or an overly confident person eating sludge as they slip and crash tot eh ground.

In this silence one can’t help but turn their thoughts inward in an almost meditative fashion. A perfect soundtrack for a time like this is The Mountain by Himalaya.

Himalaya seems to be a one man project from Portland, Oregon. The one man is Kevin Carafa, and you can tell he listens to a lot of Yob, Om, and Sunn O))), and spends a lot of time outside just listening. When he recorded this album, Carafa didn’t just lay down one of the greatest stoner doom albums I’ve ever heard, he sculpted a soundscape. The sounds and music on this album essentially take you by the hand and lead you to a part of your mind you’ve probably neglected or have never explored before. It’s an experience as much as an album.

I don’t want to spoil the experience, but I will warn you: don’t expect any music for a while once you hit play on the first track. Play this album on either loud speakers or headphones. Allow the soundscape to lull your mind into a securely relaxed state and just barely cling onto your consciousness. Disregard analysis for about half an hour and climb The Mountain.

Stay warm, hug your pet, download this album for free, and chill.

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