Transcendental tape loops and bedroom ambient dream states from the teenage mind of Warren Defever aka His Name Is Alive. ‘All The Mirrors In The House’ is the first of three projected releases of very early works by the Detroit-based savant, prior to signing to 4AD in the late-1980s.
With help transferring ageing cassettes and annotating the results from Shelley Salant of Tyvek, the unearthed results are revelatory - a gorgeous sequence of gently decaying tone float made with an incredibly primitive DIY set up.
As Defever recounts in the liner notes: “By age ten, I had a tape recorder and was using it to capture the sounds of nearby lakes, thunderstorms, and my older brother’s LP collection played at the wrong speeds. As a teenager, I got deep into all kinds of music - punk, new age, blues - and played bass in the high school jazz band, as well as studying Bach chorale harmonization and counterpoint. My first album consists of rhythm tracks made of loops of the next door neighbour raking leaves and shoveling the driveway with echoey guitars and vocals with lyrics about ghosts.”
Innersleeve essay and interview by Mike McGonigal, the founder of Chemical Balance magazine and YETI publishing and the author of acclaimed books on My Bloody Valentine and Galaxie 500.
For fans of Eno’s Ambient series, William Basinski, Kranky Records.
His Name Is Alive has had over a hundred releases since their first cassette in 1986. His Name Is Alive spent 13 years recording for the legendary label 4AD and sold over 100,000 records, toured the world, received gold and platinum records for soundtracking Tom Cruise’s nervous breakdown in the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’ and collaborated on two short films with famed animators the Quay Brothers and name-checked by David Bowie as one of his favourite artists.
Warren Defever continues to live and work in Detroit - he has recently recorded ‘Universal Eyes’ for Lower Floor Music and is one of the engineers heading up Third Man’s recently opening mastering studio.
HIS NAME IS ALIVE - ALL THE MIRRORS IN THE HOUSE (HOME RECORDINGS 1979-1986)
- Piano Rev
- Something About Hope
- All The Mirrors In The House
- Because Piano
- Tape Sound
- Guitar Rev
- Fine As Feathers
- Reflection Pool
- Equally Divided
- Tape Slow
- Outside The Window
- Echo Lake
- F Choir