(Deana Morgan - BPM Magazine)
The NYC-based loner likes it soft and somber. Clicky techno beats tap lightly beneath the charmingly spliced buzz, clank and clatter of everyday life. Temperature textures drone peacefully and compassionately. People Places & Things is minimal on the outside, but dense once you gently sink to the middle. Once you're there, heartfelt emotion seeps through, a bursting gushiness of the My Bloody Valentine kind. Add to that sound the dissonant click-techno of Process, the found-sound playfulness of Matthew Herbert and the cute, catchy melodies of ISAN, and you get an album of alluring tranquility and entrancing, drugged-out lullabies.
Though People Places & Things chronologically predates Early Morning Migration, Honig's collaboration with Morgan Packard, and the Macrofun Vol. 3 contribution "Transportation Application," the July 2004 release sounds anything but stale (even if it was issued on Single Cell, the label name briefly adopted before Microcosm). If anything, it shows how quickly Microcosm has established itself as a distinguished outlet for lush electronic minimalism.
Following upon Technology is Lonely, Honig's sophomore outing features eleven languid, at times serene settings of swaying shuffles and alluring melodies. He merges the hazy ambiance of Rhodes melodies and blurry washes with the soft clicks of off-kilter rhythms, many of which suggest they were generated from everyday materials like kitchen utensils and car keys (the album title perhaps alluding to Honig's sound sources). Sometimes, identifiable sounds appear, like the clicks of typewriter keys in "Focused Distraction," the seeming crunch of a carrot in "Cape Cod Getaway," and clipped voice snippets in "Green Tea" and "Click & Sleep." Wedding a descending progression of silken stutter with the percussive clatter of found sounds, "More Human Than Human" adopts a more abstracted feel, as does "Your Face Betrays Your Thoughts" with its granular atmospheres and clacking pulses. Though reverberant billows of soft crackle gently waft over becalmed pulses of soft pads in most songs, "Falling Down" bolsters Honig's customary Rhodes glimmer with funkier-than-usual beats. His music often suggests nothing so much as a mobile nudged slowly by a gentle breeze, its abstract shapes fleetingly coalescing into novel configurations as light reflections scatter prismatically throughout the room.
This beautifully conceived, rich album from Ezekiel Honig finds itself planted somewhere between Jan Jelinek, Shuttle 358, Opiate and Move D, striding along microscopic terrain with the faintest nod of respect to the deep chord washes of Detroit and the minimal machinations of Cologne. Albums like this are easy to skip past, particularly as they are so effortlessly enjoyable. While there's a certain alluring quality posessed by those releases that require a bit of work before they open themselves up to you, Honig has nonetheless managed to produce an album that radiates warmth after repeated listens despite not really breaking any new ground. As far as minimal sunset music of this kind is concerned - "People Places & Things" is just about as good as it gets. Recommended.
You'd never guess Ezekiel Honig was once a Breakbeat Science employee and drum & bass fanatic based on People Places & Things, his sophomore album. The follow-up to Technology is Lonely, People... is an exploration of sound using elements of click-house, muted dub, [very] leftfield techno and minimal music. This is a determinedly thoughtful record that sounds like Honig made it while sitting all by himself in the middle of a field with his laptop, pondering the intricacies of nature.
Honig focuses on the placement of everyday noises in the floating first track "Passing Through" and in the unsure strings and churning clicks of "Your Face Betrays Your Thoughts." People Places & Things would do well to fall on patient ears. It is a great soundtrack to a peaceful night alone in your own environment - no words to distract you, just the meticulously arranged sounds that can only be harnessed via daily life.
(Jen Boyles - Urb Magazine)
As wonderful as this album is to listen to, it's not as easy to review. This is a good thing, however. The types of compositions that Ezekiel Honig presents forces us lazy writers to rethink the compartments that we place music into. People, Places, and Things doesn't allow for such neat or simplistic genre filing. Whereas Technology Is Lonely (Ezekiel's debut album) concentrated largely on a clickhouse aesthetic surrounding a center of atmospheric dub, his follow-up playfully erases the lines in the sand, allowing categories to blur and mutate. As a result, we're left to figure out skeletal forms of genres we thought we were already familiar with, occasionally thrown off balance by the varied assortment of thumps, sputters, buzzes, and crunches along the way.
Continuing the idea of working your environment into the mix, quiet electronics remain a constant throughout the album, the withdrawals from Ezekiel's sound bank tickling the ear. Selections like "winterspring," "green tea," and "click & sleep" flirt with house and techno structures, with voices clipped in mid-syllable and other sounds that you're tempted to think are coming from outside your headphones. One might suggest that "memoir of a future past"contains a breakbeat influence. The frenetic percussion underneath its somber tones bring a low-key funk minimalism to the project. To call this album "electronic listening music" would perhaps be most convenient; to call it IDM would just be a cop-out. Honig's productions are too inviting to be considered IDM. While they are introspective to a certain degree, you get the feeling that the creator doesn't mind acknowledging your presence. These works want you around...and you'll be more than happy to stay.
(Both Sides of the Surface).
An unexpectedly serene outing from a self-professed former drum'n'bass DJ, Honig's People Places and Things is that certain type of record that will go unnoticed by most but will end up becoming a beloved favorite of a few. Honig's musical palette is the minutiae of everyday life - those random musical coincidences born from the noises that surround us at any given time, when the noise of your car keys clattering across a table somehow calls to mind the metallic percussive stutter of a Squarepusher track or the background hum of a refrigerator soothes in the same way as Brian Eno's ambient work might. Gently lilting melodies drift on a bed of percussive clicks and pops whose seemingly random rhythmic patterns somehow coalesce into something more structured with each passing listen. Short attention span theater this is not, but if you've got the patience to delve into a deeper listening experience you'd be advised to check Honig out.
(Brock Phillips - Mean Street)
Ezekiel Honig started out as a drum'n'bass DJ in his native New York, and although, as with last year's Technology is Lonely, the title of his second album reveals a sentimental touch of the old raver's dewey-eyed inclusiveness, his music has clearly moved on. Opener "Passing Through" feints at an oceanic sweep, its soft 4/4 heartbeat pushing it towards the wide open dreamscapes conjured by the likes of Mike Ink and Marcus Guentner. However, any epic aspirations are held neatly in check - widescreen though the music is, it retains an astringent sparseness.
Later, tracks like "More Human Than Human" and "Winter Spring" pulse with airy poise, and if their occasional percussive syncopation glances back towards Honig's breakbeat roots, the overall effect is one of warm, spacious stasis only infrequently disrupted by surprising sonic events like the hard-panned percussion in "Green Tea." Although People Places & Things, is by and large an undemonstrative record, it's also a beguiling one.
(Chris Sharp - The Wire)
rough English translation from the original German:
(Orson Sieverding - De:Bug)
(Dean DeCosta - BPM Magazine)