Quarry Hollow The Path Of Tranquility

Mark E and Stuart Hobbs serve up a genre-blending debut collaborative EP.
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Quarry Hollow may not mean much to you as a name on its own, but peel back the covers and you’ll find two highly-distinguished artists who have can count three decades worth of experience at the top of the game between them.

Spurred from an unlikely meeting while waiting for their respective five-year-old daughters to finish school, Quarry Hollow is the newborn baby of disco-edit king Mark E and Glasgow-raised-and-based Stuart Hobbs. While Mark E might not need much of an introduction to XLR8R’s readers—his discography reads like a wish list of top-notch labels like Spectral Sound, Running Back, ESP Institute, Golf Channel, and his own Merc Records—Stuart Hobbs might be a little less known, although nonetheless prominent. Currently producing out of his SHONK studio in Oxford, Hobbs previously co-owned Crash Records in Glasgow, and has appeared in more than a handful of bands alongside former members of Teenage Fanclub, Superstar, and Ride—an exemplary career dedicated to an off-kilter craft. Together, as Quarry Hollow, they indulge in “an eclectic groove-driven forage into the wonky playing of first takes,” which, to us, roughly translates as eccentric magic.

The Path Of Tranquility, the duo’s first EP and also the product of their first encounter together, is an askew exploration that invites and engulfs the listener into a sound world that’s altogether warm and sun-drenched. It’s a stunningly loose three-track release that feels like it’s the product of a psychedelic band of synth-wielding aliens. Sprinkles of krautrock, disco, and dub are evident throughout each track, all culminating in an almost-unclassifiable genre fusion.

Kicking things off is the indulgently lush title cut, a hypnotic outing that floats along its near-seven-minute runtime with shimmering synths, crushed guitars, and fuzzy bass all endlessly flowing and wrapping around each other. It’s a disco-hybrid cut with intricacies that will most likely dumbfound even the most discerning of dancers.

Next up, “The Long Slide” takes the listener into moodier dub territory—it’s another glistening cut bookended by thick sub bass and sliding funk-filled guitar riffs. “The Long Slide” really emphasizes the sound design expertise the pair hold up their sleeves, with each element slowly-but-surely morphing and mutating to a gurgling conclusion.

“Mason’s Arm,” the EP’s deepest cut, closes proceedings with a barrage of dusty guitar lines, fraying synths, trudging bass, and tantalizing organ riffs. It’s a fittingly hazy end to an unabashedly psychedelic three-track debut.

The Path Of Tranquility will be released on April 22 via Leng Records.