James Holden’s debut album The Inheritors takes the minimal techno genre and transports it to a truly alien dimension.
Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for The Inheritors - Holden, James Holden on AllMusic - 2013.
On The Inheritors Holden guides us from mood to mood, atmosphere to atmosphere, smoothly and naturally; at every stop the album is immediately involving, so even an hour in it hasn't succumbed to. But June 2013 saw Holden finally return in a big way, with a brand new artist album of suitably epic proportions: 75 minute long English pagan saga The Inheritors. A bold, psychedelic journey, striking a delicate balance between weighty tome and transformative trip, and with a production aesthetic that is all his own: Holden is certain that this is the album that he always wanted to make. Nov 08, 2017 Electronic producer James Holden has remade himself into a bandleader on his new album—a collection of self-described “folk-trance” recorded with improv ensemble the Animal Spirits. Clocking in at over 75 minutes, The Inheritors is an exhausting, complex and disorientating listen, but one that will stay with you. Once upon a time, Holden used to bridge the gap between bedroom and club, but now the most suitable location to take in his music would be in the middle of the woods, a windswept moor or a stone circle.
Border Community, 2013
The Inheritors James Holden Rare
9.0 / 10
I don’t think I took the genre of minimal techno seriously until I listened to Pantha Du Prince‘s Black Noise in the beginning of 2010. I thought to myself: “how can you make great electronic music without any drops or melodies and have each song over 5 minutes long?” It was then I discovered that sounds as organic as wind chimes could be used to create a strangely delightful rhythm. Pantha Du Prince became my gateway into minimal techno artists like Ricardo Villalobos, Robag Wruhme, John Talabot and more recently Jon Hopkins.
Now it’s 2013 and the genre has almost reached its post state with James Holden’s The Inheritors. The best way to describe The Inheritors is to imagine a forgotten ancient musical relic left by an alien race who had a penchant for classical, experimental house and acid jazz. So, in a way, the listeners are “the inheritors” of this otherworldly music that seems like it should be played at a museum chock full of dinosaurs, antique weaponry and interstellar mobiles. There is even alien-like gibberish that is moaned throughout “ :A Circle Inside A Circle Inside: ” and “Circle of Fifths” that would make any Boards of Canada fan feel right at home.
Like Boards of Canada’s Tomorrow’s Harvest, The Inheritors has an undeniably cinematic influence. The Inheritors embodies “2001: A Space Odyssey” quite perfectly. There are moments of primeval noise and tribal rhythms that represent the monkeys discovering tools, retro sci-fi synthesizers that represent the space age, dark and ominous feedback loops that are as menacing as the obsidian obelisk and even moments of psychedelic confusion that mirror the ending sequence of the film.
The Inheritors like any good cinematic experience has an amazing first act. “Rannoch Dawn” sets up the album perfectly with its constant guitar down-strumming and a chaotic swirl of ambient noise that just builds and builds until it finally spirals out of the atmosphere. “Renata” is probably the only song on the album which has a quasi-payoff at the end with exploding cymbals, spasmodic horns and a backbeat that just doesn’t quit. “The Caterpillar’s Intervention” makes The Inheritors worth the admission price by its own; it is easily the most emotional and forceful electronic track of the year. The way “Sky Burial” sluggishly oozes fuzzy distorted synthesizer noise and uses the clanging of poles and pipes with a depressing organ in the background exhaling worriedly makes it sound like it is going to be on the soundtrack for Half-Life 3.
Dj James Holden
The most amazing thing about Holden’s music is that it deconstructs minimal techno and reconstructs it with only a few seemingly spare elements, yet still retains the genre’s epic nature. Each song off The Inheritors also redefines what is a song in the context of electronic music. Does every song have to have “x” in order to make the listener feel “y” or can each song just function on its own merit while at the same time contributing to a larger whole? I think that is why Holden’s music is so interesting because if you probe deep enough you can find yourself in a Socratic mode questioning life, music and cultural constructs (all of this without any intelligible lyrics).
Some may argue that The Inheritors is a collection of great build-ups that never pay off, but I think that suppression of some soulless drop is what always keeps you on your toes. If you really wanted a payoff, you could always look to Skrillex or every pop song of the last five years. The Inheritors is a patient and sprawling organism that if you repeatedly revisit will reveal layers upon layers of rewarding catharsis.
James Holden The Inheritors Rar
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