This could be amazing. A first collection of the early recording works of Warren Defever the alchemist behind 30 years of His Name Is Alive. His early albums on 4AD were brilliant things and this collection showcases his recordings as a teen, learning his trade by way of using primitive tape recorders to record songs where the percussion track consists of his next door neighbour sweeping leaves.
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I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this one for a while. It’s a collection of home recordings made between 1979 and 1986 by Warren Defever aka His Name Is Alive. He was incredibly young when he made some of these recordings, even as young as ten in some cases. Using only a basic DIY set-up, Defever made tape loops and experimental electronic pieces, often using found sound such as a thunderstorm or his neighbour raking up leaves.
This album is really beautiful. To make an album like this, probably having never heard music like it, is astonishing. In the same way that Nan Shepherd in the ‘Living Mountain’ arrived at Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s theory of the ‘body-subject’ without having any knowledge of it, Defever created ambient music in his basement in Livinia, Michigan similar to the pioneering work Brian Eno was doing at the time.
They are all fantastic pieces of music, all infused with a lo-fi quality which accentuates the intimacy of these recordings. All The Mirrors In The House creates magic out of the mundane. Something as simple as the sound of leaves being raked up, or water lapping against a shore can be refigured into something alien but strangely comforting.
Brian Eno eat yer heart out.
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- All The Mirrors In The House (Home Recordings 1979 - 1986) by His Name Is Alive
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