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HOIA is a project by Prateek Rajagopal who is best-known for being a virtuoso guitarist, budding film composer and writer/producer for death metal band Gutslit and Indian/Amercian prog metal atc The Minerva Conduct. HOIA is far more inspired by Avant-garde, progressive rock, experimental and industrial music, and he approached Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) to provide bass along with session drummer Wojtek Deregowski to help him realise his vision. Although not an instrumental album as such, as Prateek also provides some vocals, there is a feeling throughout of this being heavily improvised around structures so the music shifts in multiple directions. At times very melodic, and always strongly with the art rock/progressive rock canon, there are times when it has far more in common with the avant-garde as one is never sure quite where the journey is going to lead to. In some ways it is a very easy album to listen to, whereas at others it is very hard indeed as the space seems to have been removed from the music and it is hard to catch a breath. It is of little surprise that he involved Edwin, as this is obviously heavily influenced by the work of Steven Wilson although there are times when it feels more like Tangerine Dream as well as heading into areas normally reserved for the likes of Can and Art Zoyd. It is an album that does take time and perseverance, after which it will still not be for everyone, but repeated plays (this can never be called an immediate album) does pay off in the end.
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