Aquarius Heaven - Can't Buy Love EP on Wolf + Lamb

Words by: Hannah Briley
Posted: 13/9/11 10:31

“Every good man need a good...pussy...I mean wife...but that means you’d have to get married”. You’d be forgiven for thinking we were listening to Snoop Dog with lyrics like that, slurred and rapped over a simple, down tempo and repetitive musical base. But we’re not, its Brian Brewster aka Aquarius Heaven on his new EP ‘Can’t Buy Love’ on Wolf + Lamb. An imperative aspect of Aquarius Heaven’s popularity after just one release is that his sound is simply different. Hip-hop meets house, reggae meets techno and dancehall meets minimal, welcome to the world of Brian Brewster.

7 Days’ on Circus Company put the ‘electronic’ newcomer into the spotlight with a little help from good friend’s dOP in April. Its fresh sound won us over and much like the instant success of Nicolas Jaar, the key was a unique approach in a field of often linear sounding house and techno music. What remains to be seen, (also like Jaar) is if that different sound will achieve longevity and in Aquarius Heaven’s case – whether the electronic world is ready to accept a typically dancehall culture in its lyrical style and content?

The EP’s title track boasts sensually moaned “I love ya, I love ya“ vocals from Dani Siciliano while Brewster speaks over the top “You can pay for sex, but can’t buy love. She need extra bills, that’s why she says she love ya”. Musically it’s simple to say the least with spit-spatting drum beats, hand claps and an organ chord sequence; the mixdown is clearly intent on the vocals being the hook. That in itself wouldn’t be a problem if the musical undertone shone, but it doesn’t – it’s a snoozeathon.

Luckily, ‘Keep On’ picks up and whilst vocals are still a strong factor, soaring synth lines, classic house piano keys and an earthy kick have been arranged perfectly, holding our attention just as much as Brewster’s voice. ‘Summer Love’ and things are more electronic still with massively attacked bleeps, gloriously reverbed drums and tight EQ’d claps. Vocals pitched, delayed and effected to the nines, Aquarius Heaven proves he knows his way round his studio as well as his microphone.

Stop’ turns a totally different corner and other than the kick, has no continuous rhythm as such to speak of. Instead a sonic, dark and sinister collection of strings, percussion and shakers swell and retract, cavorting mysteriously below Brewster’s twisted take on a nursery rhyme. Unique indeed, but the result is sadly un-arresting. Closing with ‘InterviewBrian Brewster and dOP exchange conversation laid over slow, dubby chords and airy beats. Whilst these spoken segments that say “Aquarius Heaven” over and over worked on ‘7 Days’, this time round it just feels self indulgent repetition.

Artist: Aquarius Heaven
Title: Can’t Buy Love EP
Label: Wolf + Lamb

TracklistCan’t Buy Love feat. Dani SicilianoKeep OnSummer LoveStopDigital Only: Interview feat. dOP

Our Rating: 4/10
Aquarius Heaven


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