Cousin Silas & Jack Hertz, Time Spinners

cousin_timepinI am a mere four minutes in to Time Spinners, the one-long-track collaboration between Cousin Silas and the prolific Jack Hertz, and if these guys keep up the Floyd-worthy electro-psychedelia I already can’t get enough of, I am going to love them both forever.

I am twelve minutes in. I have been coasting on thick, sweet clouds of prog-rock exhalations. Cousin Silas has been coaxing cool lines out of his guitar, thick with the sexy curves of the wah-wah and sultry distortion. Hertz continues to redefine the atmosphere with big synth formations. Plus, he’s keeping the pulse steady on percussion. Although I’m no one’s idea of a musician, there was a point where it felt like the rhythms tripped over each other a bit. Right around the ten minute mark. Perhaps it’s a more complex thing than I’m used to, but it just briefly took me out. That moment has passed. We have continued. I am at peace with the flow.

I am twenty minutes in, and I may have stepped out of the consciousness once or twice. There has been nothing to disturb this groove. It’s still very, very Pink Floyd-ish, and that’s a magnificent thing. Cousin Silas has stepped back for a moment to let Hertz lay in some deep synth textures. It’s like the stuff that got me into electronic in the first place, wavering, shimmering lines of tone and high-arcing notes. That feeling of letting the sound pull you thin across the universe. Did I mention that the beat on drums is slow and steady and nicely underplayed? It’s just there like another heartbeat…

I am thirty minutes in and right now it’s all Hertz’s show. He’s laid down a bed of pads and now he’s soloing across it on keys. We have left Earth quite far behind, I am sure. Out here we are just drums and pads and cool. I have surrendered control, and I am happy about that. Ah, here comes Cousin Silas again and that guitar. Clearly, some form of space warp is distorting it. It is seeking out and bringing back thin echoes of “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.”

I am forty minutes in and my brain has pleasantly assumed the consistency of a delightful flan. If anyone has been paying attention, I may have levitated out of my chair at least once. The watery, wavering synths, the subtle beat, the small sounds, the way everything seems to reach for the horizon, the plaintive calls of that guitar…this really is quite the ride. Psychedelic and familiar, deep and soothing, yet still with the edge from those guitar riffs and noodlings. Did I mention the guitar?

I am coming to the end and I know I will be going back in. This blend of prog influences and very meditative flows is perfect. Right now, somewhere after the forty-five minute mark, Hertz is soloing again and I know the sound of the keyboard, it’s a very 60s pop organ sound, but instead of trying to figure out its name I’m just digging on it. The retro feel, they way he’s sliding the sound around my head, the way Silas is picking muted notes over it.

I am forty-nine minutes in out of fifty and I can say without a doubt that I do not want Time Spinners to end. As in, ever. One little click of the button here and I can just loop it, spin Time Spinners one more time. A single listen and I know it’s a personal favorite and probably one of the year’s best. Another few times through should solidify that. Here I go.

Available from Aural Films.

4 thoughts on “Cousin Silas & Jack Hertz, Time Spinners

  1. ​Hi John,

    I have been receiving your reviews for a while now and have enjoyed expanding my musical horizons ​through your posts. I have to admit that I am not a “drone” music lover although I am finding bits here and there that appeal. Erik Wollo is a favorite – I need a bit of a melody to keep my interest going. I have also enjoyed some of the work by Michael Allison (DA) which I believe you reviewed.

    The reason for this contact: I found this work by Cousin Silas & Jack Herz through your reviews. It has definitely hit my happy spot. Love it. Question is, is there more of this sort of stuff out there that you could recommend?

    I hope you don’t mind me making contact and hope you have a few suggestions.

    Kind Regards.



    • Thank you for taking the time to write, Marius. Glad I can help you find new music. I appreciate your support of the artists.

      The short answer to your question is: yes, I can recommend some stuff. But the list would be pretty long! Some initial names that come to mind are Forrest Fang, Dan Pound, Hollan Holmes, Onewayness, Off Land, Apne Sinn…So many more! Of course, my personal recommendation is to listen to as many episodes of the Hypnagogue Podcast as humanly possible and click through to the artist’s site when you hear something that (no pun intended) strikes a chord.

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