Boomkat Product Review:
Jacob Long's latest Earthen Sea full-length is packed to the brim with dusty, Jelinek-pilled heat-haze, like a jazzy, minimal alternative to Boards of Canada's nostalgic, documentary-fueled fuzz.
'Ghost Poems' marks a stylistic left turn for Long, who's been gradually reducing the dub techno elements from his productions over the last few years. 2019's "Grass and Trees" left only a faint trace, and 'Ghost Poems' just a memory; the echoes and throbs that punctuated Long's early records have evaporated completely, leaving dusty - but relatively dry - rhythms that are closer tonally to Jan Jelinek's Loop Finding Jazz Records than to a Burial Mix 12". It's a charming diversion that's constructed with gauzy subtlety by Long, who's still best known for his tenure with D.C. post-hardcore bands Black Eyes and Mi Ami.
'Felt Absence' is a highlight, with faded, smudged-out drums just poking out above tape-degraded reversed synth fog; on 'Snowy Water', he settles into a lux soul mode, reduced to clicks and the occasional rattle, while phased pads create an air of rearward-facing euphoria. 'Slate Horizon' brings in a jazzy rimshot to emphasize the human touch, but still somehow in the zone between silence and sound, scratching and scraping rather than beating and thudding. For music that's so softly-spoken, Long's productions rarely fizzle completely into the background.