This is not a new direction for Matthew Sullivan's Earn. His droning, shimmering, and often cinematic compositions are at the forefront of some new breed of underground ambient music. This is ambient music for the generation that has come after hardcore and noise music have been assimilated rather deeply into musical culture. Sullivan has built a back catalogue of music that is knee deep since adopting the Earn moniker in 2008.
Yet has no been since Performance II and its predecessor putting him into a prestigious tier of experimental composers by the shear fact through a focus on live recordings. I had the fortunate experience of seeing him perform, a rare treat for the east coast, and was blown away. This process showcases his mastery of live mixing away from the tools of studio control. The ability to control and subtly shift the ambient / noise environment requires attention to minute rhythms and builds of momentum and is what Sullivan excels at. This is some deep listening.
Earn's cassette Performance II is available now via Ekhein.