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Featured Release:

Incredibly diverse and ambitious work showcasing Chris Adams' distinctive brand of hip-hop influenced electronic production and heartfelt song craft.

‘High Passes’ is the fourth long player (not counting ‘Remixes’) from Yorkshire artist Chris Adams. For many of our readers an artist who requires no introduction as his work has appeared numerous times on these pages over the years - as founding/ core member of the highly influential/ revered experimental post-rock band Hood, splicing up jungle/ amen breaks as Downpour, as half of On Fell with Andrew Johnson etc. Most of you will know the score and yet, still many won’t.

 

What I’m getting at here is that this record deserves an audience way beyond the legions of devoted and loyal Hood fans that have followed his work for the past twenty four years.   There’s few artists that have been in the game since 1992 and are still relevant - making great records this far down the line, but Adams has never remained stagnant in his approach to creating sound, a sound that has evolved with, and embraced technology but always retains the essence of what makes his music a unique voice -- a direct reflection of the man. A man still with plenty to give...  

 

On first listen I found things almost overwhelming. There’s more ideas and creativity present than many artists will have in a lifetime. These productions are maximal but never cluttered, each component’s function deployed with extreme precision and attention to detail. Repeated listens reveal more details lurking deep within this album's many, many layers and the use of effects, particularly the dub influence make for a big sound.  

 

Across the thirteen tracks that comprise the album it’s like a sort of distillation of influences from the past twenty or so years of electronic music, boundaries between genres are smudged so they bleed into one another - you can hear fragments of Boards of Canada (as heard on 'Branch Hid Sky'), Flying Lotus (check 'Ghostly'), Burial (as on 'Masked Headlands'), bits of hip-hop, techno (opening track 'Slow Release'), digital dub (check the bassline on 'Ten Years'), ambient and so on - styles which are generally instrumental are remoulded, often into more song based formats to accommodate some gorgeous vocals, deployed either in occasional fragments or loops or into what are essentially beautifully written pop songs.  

 

‘High Passes’ is testament to Chris’s artistic growth and development, utilizing whatever tools necessary to express whatever it is inside him he’s willing to share. If a track requires a guitar he’ll reach for it, a synth, a drum machine, laptop -- but things never become over techy or machine like. His sound remains intensely personal, introspective, breathtakingly intimate, and deeply emotionally resonant - the full spectrum of the human condition and yet at times it still feels like just a peek behind a closed door - a partially obscured window into the soul/ heart/ mind of this unique, superhumanly talented artist.  Norman Records

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