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Jacob Long’s third Earthen Sea outing for Kranky, Ghost Poems, further refines his fragile, fractured palette into fluttering arrhythmias of dust, percussion, and yearning.
Composed during the first wave of lockdowns in New York, the pieces took shape patiently from samples of piano, texture, and domestic sounds (sink splashing, room tone, clinking objects), filtered through live FX to imbue them with an intuitive, immaterial feel. Wisps of melody splinter, shimmer, and refract, like light on water; pulses accrue and dissipate, as if mapping shifting sands. Throughout, there’s a sense of matter made animate, of absences felt.
Long cites notions of “the studio as a dub instrument” and the melancholy of “7th chords on a fake Rhodes patch” as central elements in his process, transforming raw materials into rare thresholds of symbiosis and hypnosis.
This is music for night skies in hollowed out cities, for views across rivers towards unknown shores: restless, placeless, and profound.
Earthen Sea is the experimental ambient/techno project of Brooklyn NY based Jacob Long, best known to indie rock fans as a member of the Dischord-signed post-hardcore group, Black Eyes, and the dubby, drum-heavy post-punk band, Mi Ami. On his own, however, he crafts a compelling synthesis of shadowy rhythms and opaque atmospherics, drawing on the most potent qualities of melancholic ambient and dub techno. He began releasing Earthen Sea material during the early 2000s. Released on limited-edition cassettes and CD-Rs, some of his earliest material utilized violin, tape decks and keyboards to create eerie soundscapes and meditative drones.
In 2014, taking a more beat oriented approach, the Mirage EP was released on the Lovers Rock imprint. This release was followed by the project’s first full-length Ink which appeared on Lovers Rock in 2015. A digital EP titled The Sun Will Rise was released by Nicolas Jaar’s Other People in 2016. Following a move to Brooklyn, Long released An Act of Love, his debut on Kranky, in 2017. Two years later, the same label released his third album, Grass and Trees, which presented a stripped-down, skeletonized version of dub techno. The soon to be released album Ghost Poems will be his third release for Kranky.
Ghost Poems tracklist
1. Shiny Nowhere
2. Stolen Time
3. Felt Absence
4. Oblique Ruins
5. Snowy Water
6. Rough Air
7. Slate Horizon
8. Ochre Sky
9. Fossil Painting
10. Deep Sky
EARTHEN SEA ONLINE: