Silver Pyre is the alter-ego of Gary Fawle, and AeXE is his musical homage to the history and mythology of this fair isle. The press release lists a wide range of influences, from Robert Wyatt to Autechre, by way of Talk Talk, and you can see elements of these in the folk-tinged electronics Fawle creates. The music seems sparse and minimalist at first, but soon adds subtle layers which build up to great effect. Opener 'Copper Findings' sets the tone nicely, with the initial hypnotic, staccato rhythms being added to layer by layer throughout the track. 'Urn Reconstruction' is absolutely entrancing. At almost nine minutes long, it's easy to get absorbed in it to the point that you feel it could go on indefinitely, and you wouldn't mind. Meanwhile, the more uptempo 'Leathered' sounds like it should be soundtracking footage of experiments on a 1980s science show, with the electronica sounding busy, whilst avoiding getting too messy.

If there are any real issue with the album, it's in the use of vocals. When the music is this layered and intricate, incorporating the vocals can be a tricky affair. When he gets it right, it's very effective. For example, 'Urn Reconstruction' features the vocals lower in the mix where they work almost as another instrument. On 'Calendar' the vocals are higher in the mix, but the music is slower and less detailed, providing a fitting backdrop for the David Byrne-esque vocals. When they don't get it right, however, the result can be quite jarring. On 'Born Metallic' the music is overpowered by the vocals being too high in the mix, which makes them feel quite obtrusive. You feel with the track that Fawle has made music that is too nice to sing over, and the instrumental parts are the best bits of the song.

Despite that small quibble, AeXE is well worth your attention, and attention is what you need to give it. Sure, it works perfectly well in the background if you're reading or doing something else, but then you'd struggle to fully appreciate how well structured the music is. Best bet is just to stop, close your eyes and get lost in it. Though with a debut this assured and well-crafted, you feel like Fawle's next step will be well worth keeping an eye out for.