Sydney solo artist Gentleforce (Eli Murray) makes music for the ages. I still have his meditative techno record from 2010, Sacred Spaces, on high rotation. Here, Murray layers textured sound, tape hiss and vocal clips from films over field recordings he gathered in Japan, Europe and country New South Wales.Cockatoos screech and swoop into low-end buzz and you marvel at how many ways music can sound quintessentially Australian.
This record explores themes of depression, anxiety and exhaustion – with a purpose. “It was created out of a need for escapism,” Murray says. “It is designed to drown out fear.” The title, then, is literal. Fitting, because it is this openness that makes Murray’s songs operate as heart translations, beating with sentiments so graspable and uplifting he makes other music producers seem like impenetrable, chin-stroking wonks. The depth of emotion on Dissolve Into Fire, with its sunbeams of heat-rippled organ and tumbling piano, verges on unbearable. And when I saw, on Bandcamp, a $7 price tag on this album, I felt like crying.
Feature track: You Hold My Hand Through the Gate