Shadows of Home is the project for Phil Ducap. He is a home recordist who is using the most basic of setups and managed to release a six-song EP entitled Reach. This is a very lo-fi effort but a lot of the music revolves around white noise and ambience so it sometimes works to his advantage. Other times it doesn’t.
He opens with “Regret.” It starts with a single lonesome guitar string that rings out in all its lo-fi glory. As soon as the vocals came into the picture I was taken back by how loud and raw they were. They sounded separate from the music. The best moment in the song happens when the white noise started to emerge and fluctuate. As it progresses it gets slightly more intense and drops off suddenly.
Up next is “Siren's Song.” The song again revolves around mostly white noise and sparingly played guitar. He sings, “Where are all the good things I was promised? Where's the payoff the end of my emptiness? Was it just a siren's song all this time?” The title track “Reach” is more of the same but with some lead guitar while “Eyes of Reckless Love” is the centerpiece.
Lyrically, everything feels very intense and serious. There is no levity to be seen. I’m fine with that for the most part but it isn’t easy listening. Ducap has some decent moments on this EP but he has a long way to go to compete with some of the more pronounced artists like Fennesz and Ian William Craig who have mastered this genre.
More than anything Ducap needs to start working on production and design aspects. Let’s face it you don't need to be a great instrumentalist to make this kind of music for the most part. His vocals sounded completely raw on this recording and desperately needed to be compressed and Eq'd at the very least. There is also digital distortion which is an easy thing to avoid. If Ducap wants to take his music to the next level he is going to have to learn more about how to sculpt and manipulate sound a little more. For example, he will have to know the difference between what 250 hz sounds like compared to 450hz and what and 8:1 ratio on a compressor will do to your sound compared to a 4:1.
Overall, I like where his intentions are but he falls into a category of wait and see. If he gets acclimated with the engineering and production aspects necessary for his music to really work he will be well on his way.
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