March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Francis Harris – Minutes of Sleep

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Francis Harris
Minutes of Sleep
Scissor & Thread
Street: 02.24
Francis Harris = Smallpeople + Biosphere
Francis Harris is referred to as a house music producer in several articles. This might seem strange to someone hearing Minutes of Sleep from the beginning for the first time, but those composition/production inclinations begin to show—mostly in the rhythm programming—about four tracks into the album. Both this record and Harris’ previous release, Leland, were created after the loss of a parent, one of the most tragic things imaginable. Minutes of Sleep was written in tribute to Harris’ mother. Despite the experience leading up to its recording, the music—while downtempo in several places—is warm and alive, not resigned or hopeless. The presence of tape hiss, vocals, and organic instruments, juxtaposed with drum machine rhythms and synth chords, is very welcome. “Hems,” “Dangerdream” and the title track are my favorites, as they eschew the House rhythms found in the album’s middle and tend more toward atmosphere, which I’m in the mood for right now. –T.H.
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