Identical Homes (aka Daniel McKenzie of The Rum Diary, Built for the Sea, and Shuteye Unison) crafts his music from the ethers of time, and time likely spent building cabins, trout fishing and wandering in the greater wilds of Northern California’s Humboldt County. Envision the dusty sounds of Boards of Canada and catchiness of Tycho mixed with samples from some obscure movie and a half working CB radio from a decaying Rum Diary tour van and you’ll have a pretty good idea of where Identical Homes is coming from. Collaborators include some very talented friends and musicians whose contributions allow the songs to travel through genres, but always return to a familiar ambience. Give this music patience and in return you will find a soundtrack for daydreaming.
Reviews for Language Lessons
In the desert, a film canister coated in patina and sand. Crack it open and take out the amber-tinted film reel. Study it in the chalk colored sun. What do you hear, in your mind? Odds are it sounds like, “Language Lessons,” the new ambient album by Daniel McKenzie/Identical Homes. The record’s opener, Deer Park Howling, enters like a gust of wind hissing through electronic sunflower stalks that cascades into a sweeping Raymond Pettibon wave of pulsing ink-black beats and swirling synthesized water. From the control panel groove of Sailor, Baby—a limber starship jam that feels like playing Defender on acid— to the gentle stream of mottled blood cells that enlivens Language Lessons, the album’s CODA, each song transports you into its own neo-noir landscape, like a short film playing on an Astronaut’s gold-coated visor. This album is strong medicine for baleful times.