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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MAZMONETH: Music by Mirrors (2011)

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

Music by Mirrors is another nice find from DiN label

1 The Vital Spark 2:53

2 Oil on Water 5:36

3 Diablo 7:44

4 Spooks 6:02

5 Smoke and Mirrors 5:20

6 De Molay 5:46

7 Kali's Day Off 6:49

8 Perfect Absolution 7:07

9 In Vitro 5:10

10 End Game 6:31

(CD /DDL 59:00) (V.F.)

(Modular, Psybient, EDM)

What a very nice surprise from DiN label! Mazmoneth is formed by Nigel Mullaney, whom we know for his collaboration with Ian Boddy in Dub Atomica, and Ray Sherwin, an accomplish musician who has played with Hawkwind and Ultravox's Billy Curie. This duet with very eclectic musical tendencies concocted us another small musical marvel where ambient musical landscapes pour out their emotive amplitudes towards rhythms in constants evolutions. Delicious and decorated with a sound fauna as much hallucinating as diversified, MUSIC BY MIRRORS navigates on good and lascivious down-tempos which took the appearances of free jazz and groovy styles within moods as supernatural as ethereal.

The Vital Spark opens the album with a heavy ambient approach. Strata of synth and guitars wind and float in long iridescent loops, diluting their heaviness in the crystal clear sequenced movement which opens Oil on Water. Such as a Goblins' dance, crystalline arpeggios are skipping and sparkling in a delicious ethereal spiral, waiting for the bites of a delicate bass line and caressing at passage some soft fluty layers. Percussions fall at mid-point. They shape a smooth down-tempo where the whole thing flows like in a lascivious dance of times. These short structures in stunning permutation abound here. And Diablo is a perfect example. After a short intro with intriguing and mesmerizing tonalities other limpid chords flutter underneath the echoes of convoluted percussions. The ambiance is splendid. Between ambient and down-tempo, the structure moves forward against the stream in an odd metallic approach where the percussions prevail of their scathing strikes, and the chthonian winds blow on gleaming chords of mirror which tergiversate between the strikings and the ambiances. It's very good and it hooks your hearing for sure. There is a link to watch a video at the end of this review. Be sure to watch it. It's pretty awesome! Spooks continues the stunning musical journey of the album with an intro which embraces the Amerindian tribal breaths before turning towards a good jazzy down-tempo. The flute of the First Nations weaves a surreal cerebral approach on a divided rhythm of which groovy and free jazz aromas are quarrelling the scattered ethereal moods. The waltz of the split melodies continues with Smoke and Mirrors which offers a superb cinematographic ambiance.

De Molay is another powerful title. After a superb atmospheric intro, where synth and guitar strata ululate on the pulsations of a bass line, the heavy and iridescent rhythm shakes its threatening ambiance to embrace a soft phase imprinted by melancholy. Rhythms and ambiences are trading the lead, plunging De Molay (as many other titles as well) in a bipolar musical phase where glaucous vibes flirt with lascivious rhythms. Stick on De Molay's finale, Kali’s Day Off flirts with the metallic guitars strata to take shelter in a strange and soft melodious approach where silvery tones cogitate on rhythms in progression. Rhythms which become blurred little by little, getting astray in the multi dimensionality of the wandering ambiances and its vaporous strata to reborn in a fusion of metal on harmonies. Perfect Absolution offers a good rhythmic duality with an uncertain and quivering approach where guitar's riffs ride on percussions a bit jazzy and encircle fine melodious sequences. Imprecise rhythms in constant movements charm our ears, here and in In Vitro which sways between its flexible tempo and its crossbreed ambiances. Its universe is stuffed of synth cracklings and of white noises with percussions in tones of an anvil coated in a cotton wool, beating a free jazz style and tearing away the tense skins of the drums. End Game concludes MUSIC BY MIRRORS with a more accessible melodious envelope and a rhythmic structure where a lively beat, somehow jerky, pounds in an erratic way on a long silky structure. Some fine glass arpeggios float and sparkle in a soft ambiance of free jazz, ending End Game with this audacious mixture of the genres and rhythms which made the delights of this great find which is this first opus offers to us by Nigel Mullaney and Ray Sherwin.

Here is a video of Perfect Absolution:

And of Diablo:

Sylvain Lupari (December 30th, 2011) *****

Available at DiN

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