Philippe Hallais has been producing as Low Jack for some time, but here he steps out under his own name for the first time, presenting some rather different experiments. An American Hero finds Hallais taking on the tropes of, er, ESPN sports documentaries, presenting a suite of ambientish tracks that trace out the ghost of one of these generic narratives. An American Hero is released by Modern Love.
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Low Jack returns to Manchester’s Modern Love label after his 2016 album ‘Lighthouse Stories’. On this occasion, the Honduran born, Paris based artist appears with his real name Phillippe Hallais - which is what artists seem to do when they’re making “serious” records.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the title and concept came from the mind of James Ferraro. Conceptually speaking, ‘An American Hero’ takes inspiration from ESPN’s soap opera like documentaries about U.S sporting celebrities, and relays all of the emotional drama of their stories through his sounds. Having heard the album before reading about it, I would never have guessed where it came from, but now I definitely get the sense of the rollercoaster - shifting from light to dark, with blissed ambient moments shifting into more tormented, stuttering, glitchy passages. It’s a fairly complex record that I’m yet to fully grasp. I’ve heard it a number of times and it keeps revealing new things. It’s kinda all over the place with bits of piano, brass, samples, hypnagogic pop, shoegaze like textures etc. scattered here and there. Definitely an interesting record and a revelatory other side to this artist that normally operates on and around the dancefloor.
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