Eathen Sea - An Act of Love

Earthen Sea
An Act of Love

Jacob Long's path to becoming Earthen Sea was far from a straight line. He played Bass in the Hardcore band Mi Ami, fooled around with dubstep and eventually landed on the foggy minimalist techno that has been the Earthen Sea releases. This new record An Act of Love opens with the hazy "The Present Mist" setting the stage for Earthen Sea's vague dance floor, almost like Long is using this music more to convey the idea of dance music rather than dance music itself. His tracks are far more expansive than what you might find in your local EDM club, this is about filling space rather than destroying it with sound. "About That Time" is classic techno, building and building throughout its almost eight minutes and letting each layer shine as it comes in. You stop caring about the song length as you get lost in it's swirling sounds. The entire record flows as one piece, with only a few spots in between. The build just seems to never end and with each new muscial movement you are treated to something new and fascinating. Most of the record however hovers somewhere around melancholy, never giving in to something overly depressive or overly exciting one way or another. This does not do much for high highs or low lows and it puts the record in this somewhat strange category of just being. You can almost sense the loneliness and longing for the days when the now empty space was filled with people and music.

All this culminates on "The Flats 1975" which is by far the most exuberant track on the album. It shimmers and shines, standing out from the rest as a direction to go, a way out of the soupy outdoors. With this description you would think that the album may veer towards the ambient but everything is very industrial and very grounded in the here and now. An Act of Love is not about going outside, it is about taking a look at the inside and how our own inner dialogue reacts with the music we hear. Heady stuff, but you really do get that sense when you listen. One of the issues with the record is that it spends so much time establishing where it wants you to be in terms of headspace, that it never really delivers the goods once you arrive. With all these builds you need a release, but it never comes and you are left wondering why. This almost feels like the first half of a double album, an introduction for something to come, but not the finished product. "Also An Act of Love" just sort of meanders around some ambient buzz but never really does anything or goes anywhere. This being the last track of the album it leaves you feeling a bit short changed. There is plenty to like about this record yet it never fully reaches that transcendent level. Worth a listen but I doubt there will be many repeat offenders.

7.8 out of 10


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