Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: EL Heath : "Reflecting (Ambient and Loop Tracks Autumn 2006)" Ep (Good Name For A Racehorse Records)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

EL Heath : "Reflecting (Ambient and Loop Tracks Autumn 2006)" Ep (Good Name For A Racehorse Records)

Shropshire based artist, Eric Heath is a busy fellow indeed. Not only does he record as Loveland, EL Heath and, simply, as Eric Heath, he also finds the time to perform, as a band member, with The Hungry I and records with visual/art/ improv project Scaly Hand. Furthermore, Heath will be contributing a lot of different ideas and tracks and videos to My Formica Table. If that is not enough, he has several releases in the pipeline with Good Name For A Racehorse, including a split tape with Jack Hunter of Strap The Button and a, as yet unfinished, "Winter Soundtrack Ep". But, I will concern this review with his "Reflecting Ep" which is the first of his releases due out on the eclectic Good Name For A Racehorse Records.

Recorded using his El Heath moniker, the "Reflecting Ep" is a collection of ambient and loop based movements, but with a few crucial differences. First off, Heath is in the possesion of one of the scarcest instruments on the planet, the Ondes Martenot. The eerie sounds emitted from this vintage instrument gives his compositions and air of individuality. Secondly, each of the 5 movements are recorded using an 20 year old tape recorder. Each track sounds as of it is slowly decomposing by the second, the melodies seem to disintegrate before your very ears. It leaves a very mysterious impression overall.

Much of the music seems improvised, with Heath building walls of sound, using the out-dated recorder to his advantage. It enables him to completely modify the sounds from his ondes, piano, guitar and his voice. On occasions, such as "Ambiance D'Organe de Corde", his music resembles a warped version of Eluvium or Stars Of The Lid. "Ambiance.." is a woozy and unsettling passage of drones and organ-like textures that seem to slowly drip into one another.

"Macau" makes use of a shadowy melody from a muffled guitar arrangement, overlaying it with some haunting ondes martenot sounds. It lasts for two, alluring, minutes. On "Dragons Chasing Their Tails" you can actually hear the old tape recorder clicking on. Its tape hiss and static almost dominates the overall sound of this passage, sounding as if it was recorded hundreds of years ago, and not in the 21st century.

"Epick", meanwhile, recalls some of the more heavenly moments on Vangelis' "Bladerunner". It has a real cavernous quality about it, with cascading drones merging and overlapping with obscured voices and chants. It provides a monumental ending to this unique Ep.

It is refeshing to hear music recorded using vintage equipment and instruments, especially in these days of constant digital manipulation. Using such techniques allows EL Heath to create his unique compositions that are, in parts, mysterious and chilling, but always captivating.

Rating = 77%

No Release date as of yet, but it will be out on Good Name For A Racehorse soon and for a modest price too.

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At 05 March, 2007, Anonymous Eric Heath said...

thanks for this fantastic review!


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