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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MYSTIFIED: Morning City (2017)

“You eat at full spoons the noises, the samplings of noises, the sampling of noises on noises? Then this Morning City is mainly for you”

1 Down to the Pier 6:47 2 On the Fire Escape 3:14 3 Freight 6:30 4 Reflecting Metal Cycles 8:18 5 Water 4:28 6 On the Fire Escape Reprise 5:36 7 Industrial District 9:39 8 Storm Sweeps In 5:10 9 Sun Thru Afternoon Window 9:46 SPM-3401

(DDL 59:28) (V.F.) (Ambient industrial soundscapes)

One of the numerous advantages bound to my hobby of EM reviewer is to have developed over the time an excellent relation with the artists and the labels of the musical genre. Thus, I had this possibility of opening my ears, less and less timorous, to a more underground music, to a music of which the points of comparison simply don't exist. This way I was able to discover some fascinating artists whom I would have never considered with these ears which were molded for a more melodious kind. And if Steve Roach made me understand that under each rock is hide a symphony, artists such as Mystified made me understand that under each of these rocks also are hide a parallel universe where the noise is dominant. I knew Thomas Park's fascinating universe via his collaborations with Shane Morris in this highly avant-gardist trilogy on the evolution of the Jurassic world. Mystified participated in more than 350 music projects and with MORNING CITY he does it again with an inspiring of an ambient industrial genre. To do it, Thomas Park has gathered an impressive bank of sounds samplings from the urban areas to which he grafted synth layers, scattered piano effects and a carpet of bass effects. The result is astonishing! And if one approaches the album with a minimum of open-mindedness, I got to admit that it took me more the one attempt, we simply surprise ourselves to perceive how music can really arise from the din.

It's in this context that begins the discovery of MORNING CITY! Layers of ambient noises, we guess a concert of horns, and diverse hammerings, we guess an immense building site, are opening Down to the Pier. Droplets of water ooze behind this ambient sound jumble where also snores the zeal of machines. Even without beats, the music isn't exactly the mouth of calm! On the Fire Escape reminds it to us with short noisy movements which come by jolts. Very cunning the one who can guess out a noise of this mass of percussive effects! Only the humming of the ferryboat indicates to us where Thomas Park places his imagination. There are a little fewer corrosive titles to the ears, as this turbulent waterfall which flows in secret in Freight, a quite immersive piece of music. Industrial District is little in the same mold but with a more acuteness tone, while Storm Sweeps In is rather intense and quite near of a tangible reality. There are small jewels of creativity on this Mystified album, such as Reflecting Metal Cycles which proposes a subtle pattern of tribal rhythm from a society in movement. There is a beat very near roots those of psybient which hatches around the 5th minute. I cannot chase away this collection of images which parade accelerated in Ron Fricke's documentary; Chronos. Notice that the soundtrack here is all the contrast with the floating music of Michael Stearns. On the Fire Escape Reprise is another little jewel with its rhythmic approach which appears from the hullabaloo depths of MORNING CITY to espouse an almost frenetic form. The electronic dialogue of Water, written with the cooperation of Ben Cox, rings as an extraterrestrial language which bounces by resounding bubbles on a sometimes tempestuous and sometimes silent bed of water among which the origin and the passage remain a mystery. With imagination we guess a little the sources of Sun Thru Afternoon Window, a title of ambiences moved by fast blinking of lashes or by images which scroll in a jerky way on which Mystified has graft sounds and tones.

One would tax me of propagandist if I qualified this last album of Mystified of brilliant blow! I, who feel at ease as well in this musical genre as a cat on a bed of ice in mid-ocean, must admit having listened to it by sequences. A title here and two other ones on other times, until my ears meet Reflecting Metal Cycles. And I got the bite! I imagined Thomas Park's visions. And yes, it fits! But I believe in the end that to be a fan of industrial ambient music facilitates the discovery of an audacious album for my ears but on the whole very tasty for the amateurs of the genre.

Sylvain Lupari (April 14th, 2017) ***½**

Available at Spotted Peccary

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