Secret Coves - Jack Hertz

   1 review  -  395 views
    Where the mountains meet the sea, the secret coves hide. Drawn by the echo of hidden places, micro worlds are ripe for discovery. The surf gazer becomes the ocean, joined with the tides in a fluid of briny dreams. Aural Films is an online record label (netlabel) that releases high-quality soundtracks for the real and imaginary. . We cover a wide range of music styles ranging from ambient to experimental to popular to soundtrack musics. Often on the same albums. You can find our complete catalog of releases online at AuralFilms.com
    Artist Name(s):
    Jack Hertz
    Release Year: 2016
    Style:
    Ambient, Field Recordings, Soundtrack
    Album Type:
    Studio
    Formats:
    Compact Disc, Digital / Download
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    Aural Films
    Catalog Number(s):
    AF0168
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
    [+] Amoeba
    [+] Discogs
    [+] Ebay
    [+] Google
    [+] YouTube


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Michael Hodgson

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

With its tranquil cover art and title, it might be easy to expect a bland wishy-washy New Age album with `Secret Coves', but sound experimentalist Jack Hertz would never resort to something so vapid and easy. Jack's numerous (and constant!) albums are always anything but straightforward, covering any style from ambient, progressive-electronic/Berlin School to drone from one project to the next, and this one is no different, a single 51 minute track album that weaves an immersive, even lightly hallucinogenic environment.

`Secret Coves' reveals itself to be a drowsy and constantly-evolving fluid soundtrack, and while there's no actual melodies or obvious themes, lulling synths create a very hypnotic and disorientating atmosphere instead. Slinking beats lurch in and out of the piece and take on a subtle groove here and there, any light tribal-like elements that appear are distorted into subdued oblivion, and the whole piece is never completely breezy or lightweight, with occasional gently melancholic traces floating in and out of the serene surroundings.

Sometimes comparable in only fleeting moments to Ishq or the occasional psychedelic Steve Roach works, the dreamy and mysterious `Secret Coves' is easy to have on as a background listen, but uneasy little slivers and unexpected sonic detours mean it's anything but a pure easy-listening experience. Those who like their electronic music at its most unhurried, drowsy and mysterious will discover a fascinating and shimmering work here, and it's an intoxicating fusion of nature and electronics.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

(This review was first published on the Prog Archives, August 24th 2016.)

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