Working within the unstructured confines of what us common folk would refer to as “pure electronica,” Healing Spells embraces the wholly atmospheric and mechanical virtues of the genre in order to create the ultimate chiller EP, Past Lives. Deeply rooted in nostalgia and signaling a sonic force reminiscent of 64-bit graphics and sound textures, Pat Lives is a love letter to the late 90’s electronic groove before it became widely manufactured and somewhat divisive. Remembering a time when the genre was categorically fun isn’t difficult to do, but Healing Spells helps us easily make this recollection.
The EP’s titular track, “Past Lives” is not as entrenched in the multi-generational divide as one may imagine. Rather, it speaks to past lives conceived approximately 20 years ago, thriving within the boom of a globalist culture and producing media that embodied the spectrum of fantastical to modernistic. Healing Spells, in name alone, is the virtue of the greatest antidote one could receive in any role-playing game, often evoking a tranquil sound one might hear during the mending process.
To fulfill other classic hallmarks of electronica, “Sanskrit” combines vaguely world music-inspired vocals with an Aphex-Twin production style to create the feeling of a Middle Eastern bazaar. However, while the vocals turn to a country-fried indignation of love, Healing Spells turns the track back from whence it came (i.e. music ultimately made for the Western listener.)
Past Lives certainly isn’t the first human behind the boards to marry commercially-induced nostalgia with the modern discourse of electronic music, but the tact in reviving these memories and feelings is incredibly apparent – perhaps even more so than Healing Spells may have intended. No matter how deeply it resonates with the listener, the EP is clearly crafted with care and respect to a subset of a music that is slowly growing older.