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Tom Furse
Ecstatic Meditations Julian Marszalek , January 11th, 2021 10:34

The Horrors' Tom Furse offers up something warm for the cold winter nights. A welcome antidote, finds Julian Marszalek

We’re only in the opening overs of 2021 and it already feels as if we’ve re-lived 2020 all over again but with added bells, whistles, violence, and death. It’s hard to shake the feeling that some folk are just gluttons for punishment, while the vast majority want to get shit dealt with as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sailing into this storm of turbulence to calm these tempestuous waters is The Horrors’ keyboardist Tom Furse with a collection of soothing ambient vibes.

As the album’s title suggests, this is the soundtrack for those late night moments when re-entry into the Earth’s orbit is best experienced gouched out on the sofa where it feels as if you’re being slowly absorbed by cushions and foam. Re-iterating the point is nineteen-minute opener, ‘Journey In Ecstasy’, which doesn’t so much grab you by the lapels as embrace you with a warm cuddle. As you’d expect, soothing waves wash over and into the ears, and it’s not too much of a spoiler to reveal the blast of down-tempo techno that’ll suddenly shake you out of your blissed out torpor.

Elsewhere, Furse doffs his hat to the inspirations behind the collection. The DNA of David Bowie’s ‘Weeping Wall’ is embedded firmly in ‘Naivety (Snowing)’ thanks to an ongoing series of plinks and plonks, while Vangelis’ Blade Runner dabs are smeared over the appropriately entitled ‘Still Music’.

While there’s nothing here that really pushes the envelope forward in the way that, say, XAM Duo did with their still stunning eponymous and empathy-embracing album; Ecstatic Meditations nonetheless remains a journey into the centre of the mind at its most open and agreeable. Moreover, as a welcome antidote to the utter horror taking place beyond your front door, it does exactly what it’s set out to do – namely for you to tune in, turn on, and bliss out.