A couple of return visits here by Danny Clay and Ex Confusion who both had early releases on the small, but perfectly formed, Heat Death Records label in 2009.

Danny Clay is a composer and sound artist from Columbus, Ohio whose childhood musical influences included blues rock and Bach’s organ works.  In more recent years he has  written music for the  free jazz, digital minimalist and contemporary classical scenes.  He is equally at home writing full scores for orchestra and chamber ensemble as he is improvising with field recordings, tape loops and processed sound on the computer.

His earlier release on Heat Death, the EP “Il Pleut Il Pleut”,  used a slowly evolving looped drone overlaid by a crackling static rain and the new EP “I Am A Poor Wayfaring Stranger” takes up where the last work left off with a low level pattering crackle accompanied by a ghostly resonant  sheet of metal in the wind and a rising background drone that cuts off abruptly at the end.

The tracks on this latest work all neatly blend into each other presenting a continuous piece rather than five separate tracks with track two developing a muffled delicate piano drone over the ubiquitous light crackle.  The third track, “The Old Churchyard” counts passing centuries with a slow processed tick. Track four, the longest in the set,  opens with extended piano notes that develop into a slow repetitive melody buried in a hazy hiss and crackle that fades out with light distortion into the final track and an abrupt end signalled by a solitary anvil tap.  This is a very subtle work of finely crafted sounds that develops beautifully across the whole EP.

Ex Confusion is  Atsuhito Omori from Japan whose gentle ambient works include  slowly developing washes of looped guitar sounds mixed with effects and extended synth atmosperes. All of the tracks on this EP are fairly short at 3-4 minutes in length and sound quite similar with thin whispy veils of electronic gossamer hanging on fragile threads. While the tracks may be light in texture they are heavyweight in atmosphere and guaranteed to lull you off into an appreciative dream filled sleep.     

Two fine works then to start the year for Heat Death Records and a signal of the unexpected delights that await us throughout the rest of the year from this promising label.

 Danny Clay – I Am A Poor Wayfaring Stranger. HEAT16. Limited edition of 75 3″ Cdr’s. Shipping on 11th February 2011.

Danny Clay – Heat Death Records: http://heatdeathrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-a-poor-wayfaring-stranger

Danny Clay Website: http://www.dclaymusic.com/home.html

Danny Clay – Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/dclaymusic

Danny Clay – Bandcamp: http://dannyclay.bandcamp.com/

Ex Confusion – Too Late, They Are Gone. HEAT17. Limited edition 3″ CDr to be released 1st March 2011.

Ex Confusion – Heat Death Records: http://heatdeathrecords.bandcamp.com/album/too-late-they-are-gone 

Ex Confusion – Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/exconfusion

Ex Confusion MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/exconfusion

Ex Confusion – Bandcamp: http://exconfusion.bandcamp.com/