Sworn Eyes

by HiM

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    Another sudden stylistic shift redefined Him as a jazz-rock combo. Rob Mazurek's cornet plays the ghost of Miles Davis on Sworn Eyes (Perishable, 1999), an album that also features guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist Bundy Brown. The combo pens elegant and nostalgic compositions that flow like streams of consciousness. A Verdict Of Science is a 20-minute journey through dreamy and exotic landscapes, the trumpet mirroring Jon Hassell's quest for the "fourth world" and the xylophone evoking Indonesian jungles. Scharin's electronic manipulations create expanses of psychedelic ambience from which all instruments have been removed, leaving only shapeless traces of sound and rhythm.
    Of The Periphery boasts a charming, exotic theme that the trumpet and the guitar bounce back and forth over a bed of tablas. A violin picks it up amid the growing "gamelan" of the tablas and the dub-tinged backwater of the drums.
    Scorn Nothing (ten minutes) balances frantic scratching and a soaring trumpet melody, and the effect is akin to watching a kite fly in a storm.
    Occasionally, the ensemble gets caught in its own net of excessive talent, as in the self-indulgent doodling of Sworn Eyes.
    But, then, some music is the equivalent of a lesson on composition. The sinister, dub-drenched clockwork of Trace Elements captures how This Heat would sound in the modern world.
    Him's music is now almost baroque. Compositions have endured exhausting studio manipulations but still retain an emotional charge and plenty of magic.
    ... more

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credits

released October 31, 1999

Originated, arranged, and mixed by Doug Scharin at The Orange Room during various times of March, April, and May 1999.
basic tracks recorded by Brian Deck at Clava Studios(Ashland) March 6 and 7 1999
Premastered by Brian Deck at Clava (Laflin) June 14, 1999
Mastered by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering, Phoenix, Arizona.

Cover design by Doug Scharin and Aaron Enequist-Leiker with special thanks to Sherwyn Dunner at Shanachie

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