Chris Merrick Hughes: Serene minimalist music with revelatory quality

Chris Merrick Hughes: Eirenic Life, Helium, 4 stars

Eirenic Life
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Artist: Chris Merrick Hughes
Genre: Electronic
Label: Helium

You may not recognise the name, but Chris Merrick Hughes's back catalogue precedes him. A member of Adam & The Ants before co-writing Tears For Fears's Everybody Wants To Rule The World and producing A-listers including Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel and Robert Plant, he's also long harboured a love for minimalist music, ever since his father took him to Steve Reich performance as a teenager. Eirenic Life – his first solo work for 23 years – is very much in that vein. Hughes says he wanted to produce something "small and simple", and so his delicate piano playing – equal parts repetitive, unpredictable and melodically rich – is accompanied by nothing but the occasional hint of electronics or field recording. In an age of permanent connectivity, its very serenity feels like a revolutionary statement. Enjoyed in the right context, it's a revelatory experience.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture