Here's Eve Essex with a record of myriad sounds. She uses more timbres than you even knew existed! Sax, piccolo, organ, synths, harmonicas, whistles and pedals all feature on this record, as well as Essex's voice herself, Here Appear is a set of beguiling, initially improvised pieces in debt to both the medieval and futurist.
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Sit up for this one. Eve Essex is a multi-instrumentalist who seems to be pushing pop songs and free jazz into one happy marriage. You may remember the name, as I did, from its appearance on PAN’s recent ambient comp ‘Mono No Aware’ -- she contributed sax to a James K tune. It’s one of the several things she can do, as proven on ‘Here Appear’, where she employs a series of woodwind, organ, pedals, harmonicas and the like to create a record that goes anywhere, opening up worlds to each other in harmony and mistrust, in sparsity and density.
It’s a searing triumph. An accomplished woodwind player who can produce startling sounds in the high octaves, she layers strands of improvisation together on “Immediate Communicator”, blowing the kind of overtones that made Pharoah Sanders sound like someone peering off the edge of the world to see if there was anything extra. It’s a gorgeous instrumental, but I’m fascinated by what she surrounds it with: meandering noise hymnals like “Grind Away” and the ominous, broken pop of “Satisfaction Theories”, with harpsichord and anonymised backing vocals and fusion organ. The strands of timbre on this record -- chiming, skronking, nauseating -- stand, somehow, together.
‘Here Appear’ is a simple wink of a title, speaking to the spontaneity and serendipity of her craft; things simply pop into existence on this record, and seem happy to stick around. The vocal loops and pipes of “Life of Service” have made their home here; the textures of “Colorless Stone” follow each other in a gorgeous, romantic series of developments. A record this full can often feel random, but Essex’s work feels deeply serialised, developing unlikely corners of sound into fond friends. Not to be missed.
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