Jack Hertz, Time

Time passes slowly. Jack Hertz’s four long, minimalist, drone-based pieces are not at all interested in hurrying along, and that’s fine. Hertz’s hypnotic flows are built on wavering layers of sound in a classic ambient style, moments pulled out to thinness then released to fade. His lines wrap and weave their way around one another before quietly unfolding to go their own way. There’s a lot of warmth to his tones, and the long-f0rm structure of each piece–the shortest is over 13 minutes and the longest almost hits the half-hour mark–makes it easy to just get lost in, both as a whole and in the individual pieces. Time gains its allure by adhering to the Eno-dictated function of ambient music; it can be listened to deeply (there’s certainly enough going on to make it worthwhile) or it can be passively taken in as it seeps osmotically from the speakers and fills the space. It raises its voice above a whisper only infrequently, and only where it matters or makes sense–in the last track, “Yesterday,” for example, where Hertz hunkers down for a bit more concerted knob-twisting and waveform-manipulating. Even here, though, he maintains an easy-rolling backdrop. The spell is never broken once Time begins. It may actually be a little too passive for some; but having looped it for literally more than six hours in a sitting without considering that maybe I’d like to listen to something else, I think it’s exactly as passive as it needs to be.

Available from Free Floating Music.

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