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 neighbor raking leaves and shoveling the driveway with echoey guitars and vocals with lyrics about ghosts.”
Inner sleeve 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.