Release Date: Apr 22, 2022
Record label: Ahead of Our Time
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A deliberately minimal affair of moody piano improvisations follows up Stories From Far Away On Piano In a cultural landscape less homogenous than in previous decades, where art is intensely vulnerable to changing standards and general subjectivity, one question becomes ever more pertinent when assessing it: does the project succeed on its own terms? There are listeners for every niche, and these niches can be catered to by increasingly sophisticated algorithms, and so when James Heather releases a record of moody piano improvisations we can trust that scores of piano music lovers will have their hunger well and truly satiated. Invisible Forces, billed as a work “about becoming aware of invisible forces around us to help deepen understanding of self and our connection to the world”, draws on several techniques that overlap and mesh in a way that sometimes renders track distinctions redundant. Chords are broken up into two elements, alternated in a rocking motion - the rhythm created is loose and free-flowing, though subtly intricate as inversions shift and a resultant melody is formed.
The first time I came across James Heather was when I heard his 'Modulations: EP1' in 2017. At the time I was a massive Ninja Tune obsessive and was hoovering up everything they released. I enjoyed it and played it for a few weeks before something else became my new fascination. It wasn't until he released his debut album 'Stories From Far Away On Piano' a few months later that I really took stock of the kind of music that Heather was releasing.
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