About Heathered Pearls
Electronic project Heathered Pearls is the brainchild of Polish-born Brooklynite Jakub Alexander, who had a career deeply rooted in music before he released his own. He managed Tycho and was the music "curator" for that producer's ISO50 blog. Alexander also DJed under the Aarnio moniker and was head of A&R at Ghostly International, the label that released his music. The project moved from a more ambient style on early releases to reflections on specific phases of dance music culture on the 2017 EP Detroit, MI 1997-2001 and more complex composition on his intricate and glacial 2020 album Cast.
Introduced as a young man to ambient music by his mother, Alexander loved the sound but hated the "Pure Moods" clichés often associated with it, and strove to create his own vision of the genre that avoided them. In 2004, while residing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he founded the eclectic electronica netlabel Moodgadget alongside his friend Adam E. Hunt, with the aim of "exposing the diversity in electronically made music." Many of the label's alumni later went on to release albums on Ghostly.
After years of daily DJ mix podcasts on ISO50 as Aarnio, Alexander's own music was released for the first time in 2011, and the hard-to-find EP compilation Polite Isle was issued under his real name through the digital subscription-only Ghostly Music Service. In December 2012, the Ghostly label proper put out his debut album, Loyal, under the Heathered Pearls moniker. Created to help him deal with his own anxiety and heavily inspired by his favorite experience -- sitting by the ocean at night -- the hypnotic, soothing, melodic, loop-based ambient record was issued on vinyl and digital only. The digital-only Loyal Reworks, released in September 2013, compiled remixes from the likes of Terrence Dixon, Loscil, and Throwing Snow. A typically emotive, downtempo techno contribution from Lawrence pointed toward the sound of Body Complex, the second Heathered Pearls album, released in August 2015. It featured collaborations with labelmates the Sight Below, Shigeto, and Outerbridge.
A handful of tracks across 2016 and 2017 culminated in Detroit, MI 1997-2001. The four-track EP paid tribute to the underground Motor City club scene that continued to inspire Alexander. Third full-length Cast arrived in November 2020, marrying the slow-moving loops and cinematic atmospheres of Heathered Pearls' earlier albums to a newfound spoken word element. Alexander's cold, slowly unraveling instrumentals were decorated at times throughout the album by unscripted spoken contributions from friends such as Baltra, Nick Murphy, and others. ~ John D. Buchanan & Andy Kellman