Ambient music: it sounds easy, but not anybody can do it well. It’s all about nuance, the slow stretching of a sound into infinity, both ever-changing and never-changing. Most of all, it’s a constant learning experience.
As such, much of the finest ambient electronic work IYS has reviewed, such as Parallel Worlds and Dave Bessell’s Morphogenic has come from relative veterans. Heathered Pearls, though, is a special case: it’s a pseudonym for Brooklyn’s Jakub Alexander, a relatively seasoned DJ, but not a moniker he’s used for long. Having spent the past decade performing as a resident DJ and specializing in disco, it’s time he spread his wings.
On Alexander’s debut as Heathered Pearls, Loyal (Ghostly International), he has done just that. The album is both diverse and incredibly minimal, drawing equally from the Terry Riley school of repetition and his bag of DJ tricks. At times, Alexander soaks his long loops in reverb, as in “Left Climber,” while at others a melody emerges above all else, like on opener “The Worship Bell.” Though each track is entirely separate, the album is cohesive and thought-out, a statement from a man who knows what he likes.
Those who like what they hear can purchase Loyal when it drops on December 11, and can probably catch Alexander on one of his numerous residencies around the country.