Erbear ~ Latent Heat

erbearThe drones of Latent Heat are bright-eyed, consistently bubbling and frothing like a warming, thick soup. Radiant harmonies are spewed out of a smoky cauldron, their gleaming notes somewhat concealed by a muted tone and a gently spluttering, congealing distortion.

Things are both muddy and clear. When the distortion fades, the music enjoys a vacation with bright notes bleeding into the white sunlight of a June day, but this is a temporary timeout. Covering at least some of the road is a distorted and unsettled tone, its texture like that of asphalt, as sticky as the nearby swamp. The distortion is there, but it’s light enough to wade through, and unlike the local alligators it never presents a danger or looks to erupt in rage. It just hisses in the distance.

Each of the fourteen tracks on Latent Heat originally surpassed the fifteen minute mark, so instead of adding to the music further, Erbear began a long process of subtle refinement. Half-life has led to an increased fullness of life; the drones are always blooming outwards. The music exists in a higher place and can be thought of as one body, seguing from one track to the next without interruption.

Deep drones encircle the music. At the same time, field recordings appear as distant, carefree conversations with friends, bathing in playful, swirling textures while soda-fizzling melodies ascend like creeping vines. Latent Heat is a sunny blend of bubblegum shoegaze, past reminiscences and sprite-like euphoria. Distortion grows inside the drone, widening a set of ivory jaws in either a growl or a yawn before slowly closing them. Never does it become an uncomfortable experience, and it doesn’t want to split the drone in half. It’s hard to say whether it’s benign or not, because it’s capable of both enhancing – toning – the music’s muscle and shaking it until it falls apart.

Sun-ripened melodies that would be at home in an amusement park at the height of summer swing around in a dizzying ride, and the darker distortion clouds the music with the murky bronze acidity of Coke. Music is full of contradictions, contrasts and colors; she can’t easily be classed or defined. To that extent, Latent Heat is clothed in her mystery, with vivid colors in its very DNA and daydreams in its heart. (James Catchpole)


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