Originally released in 1994 on Black Market, ’Sceneries not Songs Volume One’ (the second volume being better known under the alternative title ’Ice Castles’), the first album released under his own name, marked a departure from the four-to-the-floor deephouse sound Heard co-created in the mid-to-late eighties to dive deeper into the more introverted sound he started experimenting with on ’Introduction’ as Mr. Fingers.
There are only three four-to-the-floor house tracks here (albeit of the usual super high-end quality), the rest of the album consisting of blissed-out downtempo sceneries (not songs!) that could be considered lounge avant-la-lettre, but not in the sense of the dull and lazy sort of music that died out in the early 2000’s - Heard’s downtempo excursions are exquisitely detailed, beautifully sensitive and emotionally charged.
Despite being decisively downtempo, sceneries like ’Tahiti Dusk’ and ’Summertime Breeze’ (a veritable chill-out classic) easily rank among his best work, balancing a timeless melancholic Heard-specific longing with flawless production values. A dreamlike sound that transcends the trappings of everyday life and music, perfect for escaping the uncertain times we live in right now.
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