Perhaps James Heather might like to keep this under wraps but we feel it’s important.
We know James as a brilliant PR fellow at Ninja Tune. Plying the music of artists like Kamasi Washington, Roots Manuva and Lapalux he clearly has an ear for cultured sounds.
Unbeknown to us at the time was the fact that James is a rather talented pianist with an obvious flair for what we like to call ‘melancholic joy’. Two years prior he had put out an ep called Water Sonatas on Soundcloud which he self-released. That debut could be taken as a toe in the water moment-it was a selection of piano driven emotive numbers-simple in their creation.
Two years later and he appears to have immersed the whole foot at least into the water and released a new body of piano driven numbers. It is a brave move in many ways to come from behind the scenes as an individual pushing other people’s music to laying bare his own creativity.
To that effect, he drops the Modulations EP1 released on the imprint Ahead Of Our Time. This is music that requires no distractions so you can absorb the soundscape of each track while being transported on a seamlessly woven and emotional story that needs no words. In many respects, this feels like deeply personal music that we are somehow indulging in when we are not supposed to-voyeuristic aural pleasure. Images of James Heather sitting at a piano on cold day overlooking some sprawling metropolis through huge bay windows while lost in the cathartic process of playing a classic piano are hard to resist.
From the opener right through to the finale, the Modulations EP1 maybe off the beaten path for those of us used to some thumping beats but if you take the time and space it is an engaging project.
Look out for a summer release of a full and fresh album.