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U.K. Heights/U. Kay Hytz


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Synthpop, later ambient music, now alternative pop

Status:

Disbanded in 2012; final release, reap (2010).

See also:

U.K. Heights website

U. Kay Hutz's MySpace page

Mike Dunn's current project, Digitophony

Claire Dunn's current solo project

The Ectophiles' Guide's page for their collaboration with Sally Strawberry

Comparisons:

Beautiful South; Human League, OMD, The Orb

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

U.K Heights play a very polished and appealing synth pop on their first album, So Far. The second U.K. Heights cd, Ambients marks a change in direction from synth pop to ambient music, while reap is more classic pop. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Recommended first album:

Welcome to Life

Recordings:


So Far

Release info:

1995—self-released—UKH 00002

Availability:

See U.K. Heights' site

Ecto priority:

High for fans of the genre.

Group members:

Mike Dunn—keyboards, vocals, guitars
Nigel Vargeson—drums, percussion
Claire Dunn—vocals, tambourine

Comments:

This album consists of nice old-fashioned synth pop. Singer Mike Dunn sounds like a less deadpan Phil Oakey (Human League) and Claire Dunn's backing vocals are very distinctive. The music is dreamy and spacious and the songs catchy.
     "Arabella" is a lovely song and "Sacred Heart" sounds like it might have strayed off an old OMD-album.
     There's nothing original here, but it's still a very nice album. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Ambients

Release info:

2002—self-released—UKH 0004

Availability:

See U.K. Heights' site

Ecto priority:

For fans of the genre

Group members:

Mike Dunn—keyboards, vocals, guitars
Nigel Vargeson—drums, percussion
Claire Dunn—vocals, tambourine

Produced by:

U.K. Heights

Comments:

Well, this is quite a change from So Far. Where U.K Heights were once about catchy synth pop they are now about ambient music. The songs are more like soundscapes than regular songs. They meander pleasantly with a few distant vocals drifting in and out of the mix. It's an ideal record to do household chores or meditate to. This kind of music isn't what I usually listen to, but it's very nice in its own way. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

Welcome to Life

Release info:

2005—self-released—UKH 0005

Availability:

See U.K. Heights' site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Mike Dunn—vocals, keyboards, guitar
Nigel Vargeson—drums, percussion
Claire Dunn—vocals, bass guitar

Guest artists:

Andy Jones—guitar wail on 1 track
Harvey Morgan—backing vocals on 4 tracks
James Burgess—spoken word on 1 track
Jules Bell—fiddle on 1 track
Paul Starbuck—cellos on 1 track
Will Dunn—backing vocals on 2 tracks

Comments:

The new U.K Heights album seems less giddy than So Far and the ambient touches are absent. It seems like a more mature and assured work than what they've done before. Opener "Trees" is folky and catchy. Mike Dunn's lead vocal and Claire Dunn's harmonies work well in tandem. "Assiya" is a sweet song that catches my attention easily. I'm reminded of Beautiful South. Claire Dunn takes the lead for "Coming Clean", a lovely song. The newfound maturity suits the band. They have made great progress and I'm saddened to hear it might be their last album. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

an acute sense of the absurd

as U. Kay Hytz

Release info:

2006—self-released

Availability:

See U.K. Heights' site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Mike Dunn, Claire Dunn

Comments:

a strange ambient disc that eventually moves into things like their previous work. (sophiagurley@hotmail.com)

reap

Release info:

2010—self-released

Availability:

See U.K. Heights' site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Mike Dunn—vocals, keyboards, guitars
Claire Dunn—vocals
Sam Green—drums

Guest artists:

Will Dunn—guitar (10)

Comments:

U.K Heights have gone through some changes as a band, from synth to ambient and back again. Their latest effort is more classic pop, and has less of a synth sound. Vocally Mike and Claire Dunn are still in fine voice, and the songs are somber yet lovely. "Black and White day" is a fine song, the Dunns harmonizing to a tune that might have wandered off a Coldplay album. "Confusions" sounds sunny, with some stellar vocals. It sounds very English somehow. "Over Nothing" is a ballad that they pull off well. Long may they carry on. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Thanks to Sophia Gurley and Anna Maria Stjärnell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2015-10-02 21:03:02.
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