Release Date: Aug 7, 2015
Record label: Ghostly International
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno, Pop/Rock, Ambient Techno
After Jakub Alexander released Loyal, a collection of sedate and beat-less productions that nonetheless moved, he commissioned remixes for Loyal Reworks. Among the most memorable entries was a characteristically emotive remix from the veteran Lawrence, whose slowly evolving strain of techno -- based in relaxed tempos, unconventional melodies, and diaphanous ambient layers -- has evidently informed Alexander's second Heathered Pearls album. In fact, Body Complex would be at home on Lawrence's Hamburg-based Dial as much as it is on Ghostly, the label for which Alexander serves as an A&R person.
Jakub Alexander has described his early encounters with electronic music as inspiring "visions of interior architecture." Further down the line, they've inspired music, too—this is Alexander's second album as Heathered Pearls. The architectural themes remain on Body Complex: track titles like "Holographic Lodge" and "Abandoned Mall Utopia" call to mind the serene non-spaces of late capitalism, presenting them as fantastical retreats from the real world. Unlike 2012's beatless Loyal, the music on Body Complex doesn't feel like a simple place of refuge.
Jakub Alexander's debut album as Heathered Pearls had the all the heft of a desert mirage. That was its chief attraction, but also its chief flaw. Loyal offered track after track of beatless shimmer, and it was gorgeous, but after a while, you could be forgiven for wanting something a little more substantial to sink your teeth into. Body Complex retains Loyal's delectable lightness but wisely injects a little more variety and a lot more physicality.
Body Complex at first seems like an odd title for an album that feels very divorced from the inner environment of the human body. Of course, the term "body" can mean a number of things, and what is most exciting about Jakub Alexander's latest offering as Heathered Pearls is the way it uses electronic music, especially techno, to weave in and out of the nuances of humankind's physical interactions with the world around it. From the unidentifiable and minimalist object on the cover to the track titles referencing interior design and architecture, via the very makeup of each track, Body Complex feels like a journey through a space both public and internalised.