22 January 2018 (released)
15 March 2018
The latest album from Tokyo electronic artist Healing Spells finds itself at the crossroads of old world mysticism and new world technological soundscapes. The five-song EP entitled Past Lives is a reflection on the different paths he has taken and how upon looking back, the different stages more closely resemble distinct lifetimes rather than mere phases along the journey. The songs themselves are warm and uplifting, evoking a sense of wonder and curiosity at the world around. Healing Spells paints his soundscapes with swelling, continuously evolving melodies over arrhythmic loops that take erratic patterns and by virtue of cycling them, weave together a hypnotic sonic picture.
The opening of 'Levitate' combines the bit crunched eighth notes of a preliminary video game level and juxtaposes them with monk-like chanting and the clinking of traditional percussion. Additional synth layers give the sense of a city whizzing with the comings and goings of a million beings, all on their own path to building a life for themselves. Moments of shimmering joy erupt periodically as you are reminded of the vastness of this mega-network and the beauty that it functions together with such efficiency.
The title track takes on a modicum of Indian flavour. Not in any overt or exploitive way but merely in the cadence of its rhythms. The song bounces with a light Bombay dance flavour. A life-giving water flows through the track as a river underscores the cascading melodies. Synths swell like rays of sunshine peeking through tree branches in the early dawn. The sound of villagers gathering around the communal watering hole alludes to the recurring familial structures that reappear throughout our histories. The song stands as a triumphant celebration of life.
Past Lives is a record that reinvigorates your soul. The album can be left on repeat and like having an abundance of plants in your home, will recycle the air and the energy and reaffirm what we're here for, to create a bastion in which life can thrive.