The Host’s new record, The Esalen Lectures, is essentially a fake record, taking as its conceit the idea of visiting a psychedelic retreat. This slightly sinister hippy environment is conjured up through New Age synth sounds and all manner of whooshing and hissing. This could certainly make you feel ‘altered’. On Touch Sensitive.
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- Esalen Lectures by The Host
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 12 August 2015
Lectures? Is this another LP of seemingly scholarly electronic gubbins perhaps? The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Eccentronic International Institute, day 1: synths and samples collide in spatiotemporal actualisation. Maybe not, as our Host is actually leading us to a psychedelic retreat in California. I knew a guy once that studied theoretical physics and inhaled more weed than air, so I guess they can (somewhat) easily go hand-in-hand.
Anyway, I’ve just found out that The Host is actually Boxcutter, a man who produced one of my favourite Planet Mu releases ‘Oneiric’, containing ‘Sunshine VIP’, a delicious flurry of glitched out breaks and flutes. This is a pretty massive departure from the Boxcutter stuff, hence the new alias, and centres more on the so-called ‘new age’ style, when in reality that meaningless tag fails to capture the personality found in the unique spectrum of meditative beauty and borderline creepiness on Esalen Lectures. Synths span bubbly, shiny pinpricks of sound to lush sustained ambience, and samples fill in the uncertain detail, cycles of acoustic guitars and odd electroacoustic growths.
It’s trippy and will appeal to fans of JD Emmanuel and Leafcutter John, even fans of Oneohtrix Point Never will find solace in Barry Lynn’s chillscapes.
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