Jakub Alexander continues a study of Detroit as profound as it is penetrating. Born in Poland, raised in Detroit and inspired by his surroundings as much as the music that came before him, his last few records as “Heathered Pearls” have been a revelation. Belleville Renderings Part I felt like a tribute and a collage – a spin through the distant reaches of space where radio transmissions from Jeff Mills and the Electrifying Mojo still dominate the airwaves of decades past, where one found new, indescribable sounds on hot metal tape bootlegs sold from trunks and card tables.
“The Packard Plant” was the first cut to surface from Detroit, MI 1997-2001, whose title itself sounds like a scrapbook or a half-forgotten VHS or DAT tape. The new EP (to be released digitally and, in probably the most appropriate use of the format other than synthwave, on cassette tape) features artwork using bricks from the Packard Plant itself. The plant was long abandoned by the time the Midwest Rave scene was blossoming in the early 1990s, and served as a legendary (and highly dangerous) hot house for the sounds of an already legendary cohort of DJs. So it’s here that Alexander’s memories linger, perk up from the fumes of lost weekends and animated by the shadows of lost souls. Uptempo, full of energy, the hats linger just an extra moment as muffled voices become indecipherable and indistinct, as if trapped under the iron crossbeams.
And all of that said, it has to be added: like all of Heather Pearls’ material, there is more to do than simply nod here. This is music made for the dancefloors that inspired it.
Heathered Pearls: Detroit, MI 1997-2001 (Ghostly International)
1. Heathered Pearls: Under The Bridge
2. Heathered Pearls: The Chop Shop
3. Heathered Pearls: Mack & Bellevue
4. Heathered Pearls: The Packard Plant