The third and final volume in a trilogy exploring the early tape archives of Warren Defever (who is now one of the head engineers at Third Man’s mastering studio in Detroit) aka His Name Is Alive, a wealth of home recordings that he amassed whilst growing up in suburban Michigan, prior to signing to 4AD in the late 1980s. The beautiful ambient sketches and backwards loops of the first two volumes are still in evidence, but this collection sees the artist moving slowly towards more recognisable song forms.
Much of the material contained here was duplicated on the infamous demo tape that caught the ear of Ivo Watts-Russell and led to elements being re-worked into Livonia, the first His Name Is Alive album on 4AD. Some of the sounds here touch on the kind of dream pop which 4AD was known for at the time – the gauzy textures of the Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil, and predicts the saturated textures of the incoming shoegaze sound. But there’s also echoes of older, more esoteric sources: 80s industrial records, early minimalist works, even the blues and folk sounds documented by Folkways. As the artist recounts in the liner notes: “I wanted to do my own Music for 18 Musicians. But I didn't know 18 musicians; I barely had two friends, and even they couldn't stand me.”
The first two LPs are now sold out and we don't expect this latest volume to be in stock for very long. This is also limited to 1,000 copies worldwide and won't be re-pressed.