INTERVIEW: Heat Death of the Sun | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Unveiled in 2018, Erosion of Culture offered listeners a dense, abrasive introduction to Eugene Davies’ Heat Death Of The Sun; a project sown through a concoction of broadened horizons and brotherly influence.

“I got really into electronic and experimental music when I was living in Milton Keynes around 2013,” the now Newcastle-based musician reveals. “Around that time, my brother – who performs under the name Kepla – suggested I join him at Unsound Festival in Poland. It was an incredible awakening – almost like a 12-year-old discovering punk for the first time! Whereas our perceptions in the UK are rather binary, out there you could really feel an intersection between club and art cultures. There was a lot more respect in that space, and everything from droney, experimental music to techno and house and African dance. I’ve been back most years since.”

Having satisfied a dark, oppressive impulse on his debut, the impetus for Heat Death Of The Sun’s second album arrived via a connection forged through Davies’ work with post-rock outfit Winter Isle (whose own new record, Nothing But Whispers And White Horizons, is out at the end of August – read all about it in our next issue): “Ourselves and Ten Sticks went on a short tour around 2015, and from there Mark [Copper, drummer] and I ended up hanging out a lot more and listening to music together,” he recalls. “Eventually I floated the idea of doing a collaborative record with him. We jammed a couple of times and both seemed to enjoy it, so we borrowed some mics, went to Ten Sticks’ practice space and just bashed it out! I had a bunch of samples, underlying drones and simple melodies, but it was all very much improvised – we were constantly trying to react to and visually communicate with one another.

There was definitely no ‘vision’ as such; it was more of a freeing process – moving away from drilling out beats, drumlines and basslines to a more open and ambiguous kind of expression, almost like a feeling of religious ecstasy

“After Erosion of Culture, I missed the breadth and depth of ambient sounds,” he continues, discussing the ensuing record’s shift in tone. “House of the Yellow Lotus is more of a ‘feel’ record than anything else. There was definitely no ‘vision’ as such; it was more of a freeing process – moving away from drilling out beats, drumlines and basslines to a more open and ambiguous kind of expression, almost like a feeling of religious ecstasy.”

Issued through local imprint Panurus Productions, the result is a single-piece soundscape rich in both texture and intrigue, with Copper’s percussion offering a skittish counterpoint to Davies’ meditative melange vocal cuttings and electronic currents. It’s a piece the pair have already previewed extensively on the live stage, yet as Davies explains, the about-turns aren’t likely to end here: “I’ve got two more records in the pipeline which I’ve been working on,” he says. “One’s a straight-up techno album, and the other is a large ambient piece. Heat Death isn’t fixed within any particular genre or mood. Another goal of time is to do an almost James Blake-style pop record. To me that’d be a massive challenge – creating more structured pieces, with bridges and choruses.”

For now, though, House of the Yellow Lotus represents an immersive and timely release; a welcome shot of spontaneity as fans and musicians alike crave a return to the authentic, unpredictable thrills of live performance.

Heat Death Of The Sun release House of the Yellow Lotus on 29th August through Panurus Productions

 

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