Hot on the heels of his debut LP, First Light reveals its first signing, Manchester-based producer and visual artist Ben Pearson, A.K.A Espher.
Described as a ‘superb introduction’ and ‘intense yet sonically beautiful’ by Clash Music in 2014, formative EP Insular saw Pearson interrogate feelings of love and inordinate desire, its power to transmogrify, tether and taunt. Dark electronica and sullen vocals pervaded, through the ecstatic techno that elevates lovers, “[…] born again, together in the sky” to the delicate piano and strings of ‘When Me and You Collide’ and the abounding heartache of ‘Still’. Channelling raw emotions and technical adroitness, Pearson’s first release gave assurances that he was one to watch.
A fascination with analogue field recording techniques, vocal looping and live drum sounds has carried through his work to date. Inspired by artists such as Nils Frahm and Jon Hopkins, his music veers from elegant acoustic piano motifs to explosive house and techno – A sound that is reactive, sentient… breathing.
After four EPs and a year-long leave of absence to Melbourne, Ultraviolet is a culmination of everything Pearson has learnt during that time. It is an album that is powerfully emotive, as diverse as it is coherent. Balancing expansive soundscapes with subdued introspective pieces, from the extended opener ‘Zenith’, which crescendos as Pearson sets forth the scope of his ambition, to the tenderness of ‘Within’; from the galvanic beats of ‘Orchid’ to the arresting simplicity of Mangata; Espher is truly the master of all trades.
Anyone familiar with Pearson will know that his interests go beyond the confines of music. He has also produced a series of over 50 audio/visual experiments entitled Fragments which explore the relationship between the two media. The ‘experiments’ range from miniature clips to full track-length pieces.
‘Orchid’ was the first track from the new album to be released in A/V form, with the rest set to follow in the coming weeks. Each will be premiered exclusively by first light.
To listen to espher's music and more, click here.