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  • Filed under: Review
  • 11/06/2013

Earth House Hold See Through You EP

Operating as Earth House Hold, time-tested producer Brock Van Wey (more commonly known as Bvdub) applies his affinity for hypnotic, ambient-leaning productions to two extremely elongated, blissfully lethargic house constructions on the See Through You EP. Clocking in at almost 24 minutes, the second effort from NY label Peach uniquely interprets "deep house" into a softly glowing brand of lush dance music, complete with hushed soul references and slow-motion rhythms.

With both tracks hovering between 100 and 110 bpm and each one falling just shy of a 12-minute runtime, See Through You was not designed with impatient listeners in mind. To his credit, Van Wey does not make it hard to become immersed within his slow-brewing tracks, as he sinks into rich textures and subtle, pop-flecked themes from the onset of each tune. The work of Earth House Hold is said to draw much of its inspiration from Van Wey's days as a regular DJ within the San Francisco deep-house scene of the '90s, and this influence is easy to pick up on, revealing itself in the breathy electric piano and celestial pads one imagines originated from digital keyboards of that era. In addition, a-side cut "Back Where I Belong" is particularly indebted to the work of Sade, not only because of the tune's vocal performances—which in many ways reference the diva's famously restrained timbre—but also due to the mixture of genres which lie at the base of the tune, landing it somewhere between slow-jam R&B, expansive new age, and (at least rhythmically) a bit of hip-house. On the flip, "Little Late For That Now" uses similar sonic components to strike a complementary genre balance of its own, but the track ultimately feels less nostalgic, even becoming somewhat reminiscent of Andy Stott's sludgy offerings if they had been run through a bath of cold-filtered R&B.

At its core, See Through You is all about patterns. With both "Back Where I Belong" and "Little Late For That Now," Van Wey spends minutes at a time building sonic lattices piece by piece and loop by loop. Rarely does an element appear only once, never to return; instead, interlocked patterns are left to run for long expanses, adding small touches as they pick up steam. Admittedly, this doesn't make for the most exciting of tracks, but Earth House Hold makes up for that with the hypnotic power his patterns flex when in full form. Additionally, the strength of both cuts' musical elements—the rich chords, muted basslines, and subtle melodies—prove strong enough to carry the 12-minute compositions, especially when combined with the heavily processed and richly nuanced vocal performances that sit atop each effort.

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