Earth House Hold, See Through You

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Photo by Andy Goldsworthy

[Peach]


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Context is a funny thing: it can totally change our tastes and expectations, if only temporarily. For example, Peach opened last July with a pleasant 12″ from Cromie & Sage Caswell. Kyle Hall delivered a great remix on the flip. Enter record number two, Earth House Hold’s See Through You. People seem to like it plenty, despite the fact that it’s more or less a bland incarnation of progressive house. Maybe it’s just a good record. Or maybe — and this is more plausible — people liked the first 12″ so much, they wanted to like this one too, before they’d even heard it. We’re all guilty of that to some extent, right?

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The tracks aren’t bad, really — just plain. Earth House Hold, aka Brock Van Wey, averages about four ambient albums a year as Bvdub, and in both tracks’ melodic sections, that influence is evident. “Back Where I Belong,” for instance, revels in breezy Balearic vibes, letting them wash over a big room beat for 12 minutes. Austin Cesear did something similar with “1 Year,” but where his sunny overtones escalated nicely, Van Wey’s barely get out of the blocks. It’s a shame, because they’re quite pretty. The rhythm section follows the same pattern, varying little and keeping time more so than creating interesting swing. Matthew Dekay and Lee Burridge’s “Lost in a Moment” did something similar, and both suffer for it. Finally, limp vocals deliver lines like, “Last time, you said that you’d always be there, so tell me, tell me, how you expect me to care?” “Little Late For That Now” shoots for a quieter dance-floor moment, but despite its pastel-chord charms, the beats again feel leaden and the vocal performance uninspiring. Peach may yet have great things ahead of it, but this record, which feels eternally poised for take-off, isn’t it.

Peter  on January 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

A bit harsh to see this compared to the Cromie & Sage Caswell ‎record just because they are on the same label, as they are so fundamentally different in terms of mood and style. I rather like it when labels try to go out of their way with each release.

You also seemed to miss that “Back Where I Belong” shifts its rhythm three times during those twelve “plain” minutes you describe. Yeah, it’s rather longish and it doesn’t really break out of its character, but it’s still a lot more interesting than a lot of those hyped “art house” tracks or whatever you call it these days.

Nick  on January 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Peter, normally I wouldn’t compare two such wildly different records just because they dropped on the same label. In this case, however, I feel that some people are championing the record precisely because of the context (i.e. the label) under which it was released. If it had appeared on a label like, say, Anjunabeats or Toolroom Records, it seems like it wouldn’t have received much attention.

aaron.  on January 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Agree with this review… I find BV’s excursions into house or more dancefloor-tipped territory consistently tend to miss the mark (for me, anyway). They’re always about 10 minutes too long, and the drawn-out vocal samples bore through you with penetrating tedium.

Andrew  on January 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Wow, tune of the year so far by a mile.

Andrew  on January 21, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Well the first 5 minutes were wonderful. It should have ended around there.

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