Reworks: Vol2 by James Heather

Release date: November 3, 2023
Label: Ninja Tune

Two factors usually determine whether albums that bear ‘reworks’ in their title are worth the listeners’ time – one is whether such albums can stand on their own, irrespectively whether the ‘original’ is something the listener has heard or is even aware of,

The other is – does the ‘reworked’ music deserves to be tackled by the other artists, which usually brings about another question – who are the artists involved?

So, here we have another reworks album, this time it is simply titled Reworks Vol. 2 with music by “Pulse Music” pianist James Heather, covering music from his album Invisible Forces and two Modulations EPs.


The first thing that sticks out is that Heather picked the artists himself and that is quite an intriguing list – Mogwai, Coldcut, award-winning film composer and multi-instrumentalist Alexandra Hamilton Ayres, T.S.Eliot Prize award winning poet Roger Robinson to name just a few.

This list by itself wouldn’t mean that much if the quality of the music isn’t up to much – but all of the involved artists, including Heather himself come up with some imaginative music that, as could be expected, crosses all the lines between modern classical, ambient and post-rock with reaches elsewhere.

And yes, whether you have been aware of Heather’s original music that is being reworked here it doesn’t matter that much, because the music here stands firmly on its own.

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