Each song on Music From The Elevator is named after a floor in a three-storey building. There’s the ‘Basement’, the ‘Ground Floor’, and then two more floors before you reach the ‘Roof Top’, which offers a view of highways and car yards. In the interests of OH&S, there’s a ‘Fire Escape’ too. It’s a pretty low-scale operation overall, so it’s easy to imagine a building in some non-prestigious suburban grey zone; one of those squat brick buildings – a perfect cube – you pass on a busy highway on the way to somewhere else. The type you only notice because you’re scanning for a petrol station amid the boarded up shop fronts.
Legendary Hearts – the duo of Andrew Cowie (Angel Eyes) and Kieran Hegarty (Superstar) – do create elevator music, but its functionality is warped beyond usefulness. This music sounds priced out of its neighbourhood, a formerly immaculate texture now peeling at the edges, dying an undignified death.
It’s fundamentally ambient music. Cowie’s synths run on autopilot while Hegarty’s guitar lines whimper longingly and in a very orthodox manner, grappling with a kind of chintzy, calendar-photo beauty that is too saturated in bright blues and greens to be real. Canned beats tie the proceedings together, but they’re running at BPMs lower than intended: hi-hat hits lurch, snares lack clarity.
Overall, it’s like the music is dying a slower death than the environments it’s meant to coordinate. It’s patently pleasant music losing its will to pleasure, a soup of texture that hints at something classy and upmarket but in its smudged low fidelity actually sounds frayed and obsolete. Listening to this can feel like gazing into a ruin.
Label: Dungeon Taxis
Release date: October 2012