Alex Ho's debut LP for Music From Memory exists somewhere between the real and imaginary worlds of his hometown, Los Angeles. It's the golden hour, the top is down, and we're cruising. The mood is an intangible, possibly fictional nostalgia for a city you may never have visited or may never have even existed. The musical tropes of Rhodes keys, saxophone, heavy bass, and enigmatic pads are all here; the tempo is slow and low.
Alex, up to now, has been better known for his excellent Moody Habits radio show and DJ'ing. However, this record arrives pretty much fully formed and remarkably well realised, walking with the easy assurance of something of a classic. It certainly doesn't feel like a debut. He's enlisted some stellar friends to help, for sure - Baba Stiltz, Phil Cho, Damon Palermo, and John Jones are all featured. But it's Ho's vision all over; he even sings on a couple of tracks and sounds just great.
The LP comes on like some sublime soundtrack, laid-back and yearning, heavily reverbed guitar bouncing around those vocals we mentioned. On some tracks, we get a steady CR-78 beat while the music touches on new-age and loungy fusion vibes. The titular 'Move Through It' is a breathy, intangible mood. 'Mark' is an arpeggiated sundowner once again featuring Ho's rather lovely vocal stylings. The tempo increases on 'Neary' and LP closer 'TYFC, but the mood remains mellow, melancholy and pure gold.
So get your hands on this LP, feel the warmth in your bones. Was it a dream, or is it real? And does it even matter?
'Move Through It' is out on the 22nd of November on Music From Memory