Eugene Harrington is a new name for me, and this album, The Life Of Eugene Harrington, conjures images of long studio jams by nameless yet accomplished musicians, edited down by the said Mr Harrington, in an attic room overlooking far reaching meadows. There are obvious similarities with other artists with a similar sonic palette, the ambient overtones of early Skylab, the playfulness of Shawn Lee, the live feel of Fretless Azm, and the execution of Clutchy Hopkins. Similarities aside, this album reeks of a DIY ethic, one which (or so the press release would have us believe) he nurtured as a child, sitting in on studio sessions, leaving with a love of keyboards and vibes, experimenting with sounds and recording techniques. The press release itself has a similar slant to Clutchy Hopkins, hinting to a mystique, a faceless musician with no desire for the spotlight, just a desire for people to know him through his music, and this task has been placed in the hands of UK independent label NOECHO, releasing only 500 limited hand numbered CD’, and 1000 vinyl LP’. Hailing from Hawthorne California, it has that loose vibe you’d expect from Cali, a mix of warm funk vibes, and a psychedelic undertone that will bring a smile to the listeners face.
Warm Rhodes and lush keys are the main focus here, but its never overstated, and Eugene easily shifts between warmth and a tinge of darkness, layering acoustic guitar, vibes, percussion, and lopping head nodding drums. Ten tracks in total, but with strangely unusual track numbering, jumping from track 04-2 to 04, then 11, ending the disc with track 20! It doesn’ make sense, and its not really important, but it does add to the mystique, who is Eugene Harrington, is it one guy with immense studio talent, or an ensemble of talented musicians? Are there another ten tracks archived away from this session? It leaves you wanting more information, more music, more of everything. For now, check out www.noechorecords.com, (theres a free EP to download there as well!) but rest assured, you will not find all the answers, just the music, and that is more than enough. I can’ recommend The Life Of Eugene Harrington enough. Ace.