Jeff Pearce - Bleed
TRACK LISTING (with MP3 sample clips)
Autumn and Regret MP3
Written in Water MP3
Through Tears MP3
In Weaker Moments MP3
From a Dead Heart MP3
False Hope MP3
Closure in the Rain MP3
Abandoned Playgrounds MP3
The Last Secret MP3
Reviews"On BLEED, Jeff Pearce offers music created from the inside out. There is an immediacy to this album. It is arresting and isolating. Rather than blurring thought or easing stress, listening to Bleed brings your surroundings and your relationship to them into sharp focus. Like a chain-link fence against a slate-grey sky or the sharp reflection of city lights after a driving rain, the clarity of BLEED asks the listener to be present and at the center of their own human drama. It would be difficult for any observer to come away from these deep contents less than impressed.
Of the 13 tracks on BLEED, two are of the spacey and smooth category while the remaining compositions are composed, melodic vignettes of plucked electric echo-guitar, complete with introduction, chord motion, bridge and resolution. The opening track, "Autumn and Regret", sets the tone well. With its brisk pace, provided by the interlocking of picked strings and digital delay, the track wanders up, down and through pleasant, melodic arpeggiations. This piece gives the album life as we fall back in time and begin to experience a probing interpretation of a troubled past.
"False Hope" is placed about mid-album and is a walking paced, well structured composition filled out by reverberant sliding guitar tones; the trails of dry electric notes underscored by a curving tide of e-bowed strings. The remaining structured tracks are slow, methodic, melodic and multi-layered - drenched in reverb and ambiguities. On "Closure in the Rain", Pearce provides us with a glimpse into his more classic space-sound with a progression of processed and filtered guitar chord loops which give way to elasticly thin and fragile glissando guitar plottings. The mood of the album bottoms out with "Abandoned Playground", with its smooth waves of grey tones and back-lit clouds of reverb. It is here that Pearce explores the more bleak aspects of his music with a coloristic range that gives tone to color and depth to darkness. The remaining two tracks are uplifting, bright and soft by comparison (especially the concluding track, "The Last Secret"), but in the sense of one's reslove being set after some unharmonious encounter.
To attempt an album of this scope requires more than a passing knowledge of technology and music theory. On BLEED, Pearce succeeds in transforming deep personal memories into profound musical experiences. Although BLEED is a catharisis for the artist, ample space is left for the listener's own feelings to unfold."
--Chuck VanZyl, host of Star's End radio, WXPN Philadelphia
"Sublime. Jeff is one of my favorite composers at the moment. Instead of being an AMBIENT musician he's an ambient MUSICIAN. Jeff plays beautiful melancholy guitar treated with verb and delay with the utmost taste. Touchstones might be Satie, Tim Story, Patrick O'Hearn, but I wouldn't take those references too literally as Jeff has a touch of his own. There is a rare quality in a musician where on hearing their music you are effortlessly transported into a very deep place inside yourself which I believe can only happen when the composer is doing the same. There is a beautiful detached outer quality in the sustaining reverb, but his touch on the strings brings it inside so the music is simultaneously near and far away. Highly recommended."
--Paul Ellis, on the Beyond_EM mailing list
"Jeff Pearce is one of the top two electronic guitarists of all time. Years ago, saying that would have been blasphemy. To compare anyone to Robert Fripp, the acknowledged master and progenitor of the style, was unthinkable, let alone conscionable. Yet, in many ways Pearce has surpassed Fripp. Bleed encompasses and acknowledges those ways. Pearce wrote the music for this album after reading his diary from his teenage years. He has made no secret of the fact that these were troubled years for him. Thus, the compositions are dripping with all the angst and pain of inner-child demons. Pearce has put his heart and soul right on the front lines. Deep listeners will feel the confusion, loneliness, and isolation of adolescence along with the pain and fear of rejection and abandonment. Pearce has stated many times that he creates his atmospheres with only a guitar and a processor. He fibs, too. This masterpiece features all of his emotional courage and spiritual strength -- that is one of the ways in which he has surpassed Fripp. Pearce's compositional skills have also surpassed Fripp's. Pearce's willingness to let his audience into his heart and soul separates him from the rest of the crowd. In perhaps the strongest indicator of greatness, there are no discs even closely comparable to this masterwork. It rates a seven only because it has not had the test of time to be a nine. It is, quite simply, in a league of its own."
--Jim Brenholts / All Music Guide
"Autumn and Regret twinkles with more "sweet" than "bitter", though shades of melancholy do hover over the introspective tones. Slow jangles amid spacious haze rise like glimmers of hope as seen Through Tears.
Many pieces, like In Weaker Moments, evoke broad expanses with lots of glowing cloud-filled skyspace. Oozing with molten gold, the gleams of Unrequited (2:40) linger like a sorrowful memory. High sheens soar above False Hope and its pensively plucked strands.
Closure in the Rain shifts into a more-amorphous mode as deep brooding energies rise with formidable power and vastness. Ominous yet entrancing, Abandoned Playgrounds (5:01)also dives into industrial-strength murkiness, engulfed in steaming grey drones. The Last Secret is told in a final stream of hazy plucks which bespeckle a deeper hovering resonance.
With Bleed, Jeff Pearce chooses to (mostly) let his strings show, lightly soaking (rather than burying) them in filtering and effects... the sparkle and splendor of radiant skyways do my ears good! Gently meandering musicality gets an A."
"Bleed is the foreboding name of ambient guitarist Jeff Pearce's latest CD, but Pearce's wounds are more emotional than physical. This darkly introspective, but quietly melodic CD finds Pearce creating reverberant guitar orchestrations through his fragile melodies into loops, delays, and echoes that build and converge, creating a sonic womb of contemplation. In largely realtime performances, Pearce layers his melodies with gentle, picked cyles and quietly growling e-bow guitar lines, all bathed in deep, deep reverb. Pearce says the album is based on some old journals and the teenage traumas and yearnings they awakened, but you don't need to know that to hear the melancholy in his music. This album also includes more contemporary inspirations. He recorded "Through Tears" while watching the events of 9-11 unfold. That track debuted on An Echoes Requiem in October, 2001."
--John Diliberto, Echoes Radio