Return To Never: Home Recordings 1979 - 1986 Volume 2 follows on from 2019’s compilation All The Mirrors In The House documenting the home recordings of Warren Defever aka His Name Is Alive. The recordings were made when Defever was a teenager and show his experimental side was their from the off, making echoey, ambient guitar pieces mixed with field recordings, drone and lo-fi noise pop.

Vinyl LP £19.49 DISC6

Clear vinyl LP on Disciples.

  • Coloured vinyl
  • Includes download code
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Return To Never: Home Recordings 1979 - 1986 Volume 2 by His Name Is Alive
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8/10 Jamie 24 February 2020

His Name Is Alive. New, not-new stuff from the man whose birth certificate scans with Peggy Lee’s (You Give Me) Fever, namely Warren Defever. ‘Return To Never: Home Recordings 1979 - 1986 Volume 2’ is the second volume to-date in a trilogy of Defever’s home recordings from his teenage years. Defever made these tracks way back then, '79 to '86, and I never knew lo-fi sounded this good, clear and crisp. It’s possibly in the re-mastering but I dunno, it sounds vital and authentic all the way through its core.

Each piece flows seamlessly into the next, just like Meanwood Beck connecting with the River Aire. The sketches and miniatures on the record are compact and beautifully formed, melting and melding into the next. Fragments of a sound similarly captured by Vini Reilly's Durutti Column many times before and since. An echoing, delay-and-reverb-drenched guitar easily blends into the blissful dissonance of found sound as that sound then in turn recedes and makes way for the next. Like waves breaking on the shore to retreat, then come again.

This is impressive stuff, particularly for a teenager. Even this early on in his Alive career, Defever had his then-embryonic sound mastered. Gorgeous ambient drones stay in your earspace just long enough to enjoy, never labouring a point, before a perfect piece of micro-concrète joins the party (quietly). Gently, soothingly, even a more jagged or crunchy sound is placed just-so, then buzzing and pink noise take over and there’s even a bit of noise pop here and there (but don’t blink). It makes for a surprisingly immersive listen.




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