Black Heart Machine Is…
The creation of musicians Robert Thompson, and Brent Jones, and joined on drums by Fil Beorchia, Black Heart Machine is a recording project where sonic experimentation meets creative song craft. The culmination of years of experimentation led to the creation of more than two dozen songs that comprise the duo’s debut Ruins of Our Greatness (2015). In the summer of 2016, the duo returned to Quiet Earth Studios to record an organic album of acoustic guitar and piano with Simon Larochette engineering and producing. Four songs came out of those sessions, and another four (and a half) were added at Larochette’s Sugar Shack in the spring of 2017. The finished album, On Its Head, was released on Oct. 28, 2017, and captures the themes of mortality, politics (of all sorts), and concern for the obvious chaos of the time. A record of its time, and a perfect release for the fall as the leaves begin to hit the ground.
A writer, journalist and musician for his entire adult life, Robert has played in psych, shoegazer and acoustic bands for decades. In 2010 he began crafting songs with lifelong friend Brent Jones, taking the skeletons of acoustic tracks and recording them with the help of Jones’ Quiet Earth studio. The pair reworked, invented and revised the songs until they had little in common with the basic structures that started the process. Over the following five years, Robert and Brent generated dozens of ideas and sounds, creating more than 20 songs in the process. Ruins of Our Greatness was the pair’s first album, followed in 2017 by On Its Head.
A bon vivant who has spent his life writing, performing and recording music, Brent Jones brings the colour to the palette that is Black Heart Machine. Adventurous in his approach, sophisticated in his arrangements, with an ear for experimentation and melody in equal measures, Jones’ production, piano and sonic input was key to bringing the Black Heart Machine to life. A producer with his own unique sensibility and a hugely talented solo artist, Brent’s harmonies, experimental creativity and insights into the musical process play equal roles in Black Heart Machine. Brent sings lead on two songs on the group’s second album, On Its Head.