As much as Francis Harris' new work, Minutes of Sleep, is a record of mourning, it is also a record of motion, which seems to materialize out of the vapor, its form gradually coalescing as it progresses. Storm clouds gather with the opening meditation, "Hems", and then break with "Dangerdream". The energy is one of patient inertia; a steady beat finally materializes three songs in with the haunting "Radiofreeze", dials up to muted minimal techno on "Lean Back", then glides to the fore in "You Can Always Leave", the first of a pair of nine-minute centerpieces that the album pivots on. All the while, the momentum has built up so gradually that the distance from Point A to Point B feels closer than it is. Francis Harris Artist Interview Perhaps more circular than linear, the path that Minutes of Sleep takes from one song to the next still feels like an entirely natural progression. Yet when it comes to the album's place within his body of work, Francis Harris doesn't really see any through-lines. "I think it's important to not trace a line or talk about the idea of progression," Harris says, revealing that he sees very little connection between this record and any of his previous work. "I find the idea of focusing on one concept at a time to be rewarding, as it keeps you in the present, at least conceptually."
Francis Harris - You Can Always Leave EP Album ReviewFrancis Harris You Can Always Leave Scissor & Thread (2013) Listening to the two tracks on the A Side of Francis Harris' new EP had me Googling the difference between deep house and dub techno, as I was unsure where to place it. If you keep up with the various microtrends of electronic music, you will probably understand what a vast range that spans. If not, then think of dub techno as listening to a rave in the belly of a Soviet submarine at 5,000 leagues, as opposed to the mechanical soul of deep house, which might sound like a wind-up jazz band. Boomkat, the Rosetta Stone of electronic music, also referred to A1 "You Can Always Leave" as trip-hop, with its chill vocals and distant trumpets -- and I can go along with it, although Gry Bagøien's singing is more Bjork/Karin Andersson (The Knife/Fever Ray) than Beth Gibbons (Portishead), making the album opener an interesting new kind of electrojazz. You can still hear strains of the dub, deep in the mix, lapping like dark waves, and preventing this from being an ADD-addled, genre-hopping exercise. "You Can Always Leave" is destined to score some desolate dancefloor at 3:30, or perhaps the drive home after, as the sun comes up.