Track Premiere! Ian MacPhee – Move

9.6.23 by Matty McPherson

Ian MacPhee is taking quite the leap. Well, Already Dead Records is making a door more open, bringing him into the fray with a proper self-titled debut EP, Distance, set for the label’s calendar on 10/6. It’s a stark C30 that’s finessed the edges of last year’s Everything proof of concept cassette into a proper sonic roadmap of Simi Valley’s uncanniness; although don’t be surprised if flickers of Kankyō Ongaku tickle through your ears while listening. Distance returns to that same transient zone once more, finding greater sweetness out of MacPhee’s Line 6 DL4 & Yamaha Portasound set-up.. Material’s been tested until its become a sort of public utility, rendering each environment (the park, the garage) I’ve found myself in as some sort of sauna to the sounds; it’s a no-fuss ambient EP, amongst the year’s most comfortable with its sense of place. Featherweight DAW compositions, to say the least.

MacPhee’s been in the TBD orbit, enough that we’re co-premiering the video for Move, the fourth cut and lone single coming out on Distance. Desolate windy roads on late night drives to abandoned freeways; empty gated communities high under glistening stars; parking lots, the kind where the feel of a thick valley heat rubs off the lone suburban light in the otherwise vacant zone. MacPhee’s Move finds a joy in the emptiness of Simi Valley suburbia. His video as well, just a snapshot of places and out-of-focus zones, recall the quiet peace of the downtown lights.

Field recordings and his drone give that sense of a glistening emptiness, but it’s the few shimmering synth chords that he trickles into the mix that give a warmth and heart. The kind of joy from spotting a white poppy amidst an orange barrage. In live time, the darkness or starkness of its pre-dawn intro lights up akin to a sunrise overcoming those Simi Valley mountains. It just needs a sprinkler recording to remind you of the many green lawns that litter the town. Truly, a remarkable little gem I’m glad we’re afforded to share today.

Distance is out 10/6 on Already Dead Tapes and Records. You can Pre-Order at their Bandcamp