Henry + The Invisibles, or H+TI, is an Austin-based “one man funk band.” Though his music evokes the sound of a full band, musician Henry Roland uses multiple instruments and live-looping to create that extraordinary sound. The latest release from H+TI, “Beatz The Heat,” is Henry’s first all-instrumental tape.
“After producing a few albums and quite a few singles since my debut EP ‘Onemanphunkband’ in 2010, I wanted to challenge myself with a different style of record…one which I have always wanted to create,” said Roland. “‘Beatz The Heat’ is my first fully instrumental self-produced beat tape.”
The tape opens with “The Heat,” which features the ambient sounds of a beach, then instrumentals that emulate something like waves crashing, along with bells. About a minute into it, the percussion kicks in to move the tune along. It becomes recognizable as a funk or soul sound shortly after that, keeping its easy pace and naturalistic sound while adding new ones on loop. The first track on “Beatz The Heat” feels like a sort of intro, with the music morphing into something a little less laid back and a little more fast paced with the next track, “Sol Shine.” Along with the regular percussion – almost sounding like hands clapping – there are more evanescent sounds overlaid, swirling along with the beat.
As the tape goes on, there is clear track-switching, with denoted beginnings and endings: a radio tuner, new instruments, a new pace. Those who don’t typically listen to instrumental-only music will find this tape easy listening and won’t struggle to pick out their favorite song in the lineup. There are airy, almost electronic tracks, funk songs, and even some retro 1920s feels. The tracks differ enough that it’s easy to envision enjoying different summer activities while listening to each one, whether it be lounging by the pool to “The Heat,” going running or cycling to “BoomBoxx,” or dancing along to “Night At The Carnival” at a house party. As you can tell, even the track’s titles are brief homages to summer fun. The final track, “Wavez,” invokes the same beach atmosphere in its outro as the opening song does, bringing the tape full-circle.
The 14-track tape comes in at nearly 29 minutes, which is just long enough to appreciate Roland’s artistry and short enough to enjoy with your choice of seasonal activity. H+TI has performed at Utopiafest, Euphoria, Wakarusa, Float Fest and more; he won’t be slowing down appearances any time soon, so make sure to keep up with live shows on the Henry + The Invisibles website.
Featured image credit: White Light Exposure
Originally hailing from Pennsylvania, Jackie has called Austin home since choosing to attend the University of Texas, where she graduated with a degree in multimedia journalism. She loves spending time with her dogs, writing about pop culture in all its forms and spending time with friends – eating, drinking and doing trivia.