Exceptional debut album of electronic wanderlust from Heith, a lynchpin of Haunter Records and the Milanese scene, whose artistic arc has twisted into mad new forms over the past few years.
Interweaving aspects of arcane folk, wyrd metal, chamber electronics, offbeat dance music and noise into his own conception of electro-acoustic psychedelic story-telling, ‘X-Wheel’ is the one we long suspected that Daniele Guerrini aka Heith had up his sleeve. Presented by Pan after their head-turning Marina Herlop album, the 11-track album speaks to the breadth of the artist’s tastes, as previously found in his curation of the sorely-missed Milan venue and community hub, Macao and the racks of its Serendeepity record shop, with a wholly absorbing testament to his sprawling, warped vision.
Anyone keeping an ear on Guerrini’s work over the past decade will have noticed a steady evolution and refinement of his production style, arcing from experimental plasmic ambient syntax thru the boneless swirl of his Low Company issued ‘Mud’, and the amazing peculiarities of ‘Lo zoo di venere’ in 2020, where his current forms arguably began to take shape. ‘X, wheel’ now presents Heith fully at grips with his own musical language of mutated reference points rendered with deeply odd, gyring sort of proprioception; one adjacent to the contemporary, southern European mysticism of Jay Glass Dubs and Christos Chondropulos, or the uneasy, smeared textures of Rubén Patiño, for example, but surely personalised by his own sort of collaged, guess-again chicanery and abstract narrative tekkerz.
‘X, wheel’ palpably feels like an album of these times, at once future-facing but back-pedalling into a foggy, foreboding unknown where the past is recycled thru resurfaced arcana in a digital otherworld and physical reality infected by natural mushies. With an ephemeral light-touch and a feel for haunting melody, he uncannily reflects our sensibilities across ‘X, wheel’, from its flutter of baroque chamber strings and eerie electronics in ‘Lettera 4’, thru to a regression session metal gnarl on ‘Stoned Witch’, and the jazz-noir curl of ‘Ensemble For Somnambulists’. There’s a rich imagination at work in the pseudo-folk ritual of ‘Dero’, and a potent (un)earthliness to the didgeridoo gobble of ‘The Hermit’ and hallucinatory surreality of ‘Enter Lemur’ certain to pique the pleasure centres of harder to please electronic music fantasists from all corners. Now just give this guy a film to soundtrack.