Skip to main content

Review: Mingle – Ephemeral (2017)

I found this album because it was recommended by Plaster (http://shop.kvitnu.com/album/mainframe) on Facebook, as it's composed by someone he knows. I feel pretty lucky about that; I'm not sure how I would have come across this otherwise!

Available from Kvitnu (http://shop.kvitnu.com/album/ephemeral), it's an interesting blend of "gentle" and "edgy". I don't use the word "edgy" lightly, as it has been overused in recent years. Just follow the link and give the first track, "Drop Yourself", a listen and you'll see what I mean. It's rather quiet, and nothing abrupt or jarring happens in it; yet many of the sounds themselves have a harsh edge to them. It builds intensity, but in a way I've not heard very often in other music. I'm having a hard time describing it... I'll just say that the resulting experience is greater than the sum of its parts. It's one of the times when on first listen the first track set me up with great expectations for the rest of the album, and I was not disappointed.

"Chimneys" is a long rising nearly featureless drone with an expectant sound with some layered percussive sounds layered on top of it. Oddly, it never resolves its promise of resolution.

The title track goes through a similar buildup as "Drop Yourself", but the mood is quite different and doesn't reach the same level of intensity. I find the sharpness of the snare-like sound of the later-arriving backbeat a great contrast with the rest of the sounds in the mix.

"Lost" juxtaposes a very warm undercurrent with a cold, glitchy surface. No beats surface in this one, and it ends on a pretty ominous note.

I could go on describing each track in detail, but you already have a good idea about how it would play out. Lots of interesting sounds and contrasts, but always with that slightly industrial edge to them.

The closing track is a collaboration with the aforementioned Plaster, and you can tell because it's got a heavier sound than the rest of the collection. It's a good closer, and finishes with a puzzling but interesting sudden shift in tone.

I highly recommend Ephemeral, and look forward to further releases from this artist.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Interview: Arjen Schat

Sometime around 2011, I bumped into Waveform Transmission's "V1.0-V1.9" release, which is a really interesting Dark Ambient album. It's quite obscure and hard-to-find, so I found a download on an obscure music blog in order to listen to the whole thing before trying to hunt down a CD to buy. Rod Modell worked on that, and when I hunted for his other stuff, I first found Dub Techno. Going back to the music blog, the author had just posted that he was listening to some quality Dub Techno by Ohrwert, called "Yesteryear".

This was my first introduction to the musical world of Arjen Schat, a composer from the Netherlands who works in several different genres of electronic music. Over the years since finding his music, I've been quite interested to see how his styles have evolved. Recently I felt I had enough understanding to do an interview with him to get some inside information on how he works. He was kind enough to answer my questions; many thanks to him …

Review: Plaster – Platforms (2011)

Plaster – Platforms (2011)

How I found this album is actually pretty funny. I was looking for the latest release on iTunes from Plaster, a Montreal electro-jazz band. Here's a sample of what they sound like; I love this track:

https://myspace.com/plasterfirstaidkit/music/song/square-wave-21881461-21682646

iTunes doesn't differentiate well between different bands with the same name, so Platforms came up in the search. It was released more recently, so I took a listen. This is what I found:

https://soundcloud.com/kvitnu/plaster-component

It's a completely different artist (obvious if you listen to the two tracks). This one sounds like some sort of hybrid between Nine Inch Nails and Monolake's Momentum. It was a great discovery; I since have gotten all of their released albums, and they're all good. But I have to say this one is still my favorite, which is why it's getting a review.

The sound engineering on this disc is amazing. Everything is crisp and well-placed o…