October 14, 2013
After recently inaugurating its run with a crop of tunes aimed squarely at the dancefloor, Brooklyn’s newly launched Peach label—an imprint headed up by TURRBOTAX co-founder Rem Koolhaus—has shifted gears on its second release, broadening its vision beyond the club and offering up a pair of wonderfully immersive tunes from Earth House Hold.
The Earth House Hold moniker may not be familiar to everyone, but the man behind the name—veteran producer bvdub (a.k.a. Brock Van Wey)—has been notably walking the line between deep techno and ambient music for nearly a decade. And while most mentions of Van Wey’s name almost inevitably lead to talk of his highly prolific nature—he’s issued something like 20 full-length albums since 2007—his output as Earth House Hold has been far less frequent. It’s ostensibly his “house” project, something that can be traced back to his days as a regular in San Francisco’s deep-house scene during the ’90s. It was an influential time for Van Wey, and though his music makes no attempt to revive that sound—the aesthetic is unmistakably his own—the era has certainly left its mark on him.
That said, there’s nothing “retro” at work here. Both “Back Where I Belong” and “A Little Late for That Now” clock in at nearly 12 minutes, and find Van Wey constructing a delicate lattice of shimmering, crystal-clear melodies and soulful, slow-burning vocals atop a slow-motion house skeleton. Without question, the music is “deep,” but there’s an undeniable—albeit subtle—pop current running through these compositions. It may be adventurous to say that the tracks recall the sultry glow and hypnotic excellence of artists like Sade, but Van Wey’s vocal-heavy approach harkens back to a time when soul and R&B singers could actually sing, and his tunes carry a similar emotional wallop. Someone could easily get lost in the expanse of Earth House Hold’s compositions, but even if that happens, it’s a safe bet that they won’t be in any hurry to find their way back out again.
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