Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Music: Mass at Dawn "Trimutation" 3" CD-R

Ignoring the fact that the three-inch CD-R is easily the most insufferable medium on which modern "underground" music is released, and that this, like most Mass at Dawn releases, seems slightly guilty of placing vintage-gear-credibility ahead of actual musicality, this thing is really pretty good.

Soft distorted drum machine opens "Cycle of Movement", track 1, over which octave-arping, gently losing focus synths play, all unruly like. It's all head-nodding, out-of-phase club music for doctoral students in ethno-linguistics or post-Lacanian psychology. It's cold and unnerving, but human in its imperfection. The beat is sort of front-loaded, too heavy on the 1, which only becomes apparent by the end of the track. It's a creeping imperfection that's nice once you notice, eye-opening, even.

Track 2, "Demons of Fire" starts with a gnarly drone, passed down from that cycling analog octave-jump on track 1, but more muddled. Then beautifully distorted drums and Dylan Simon's psychotically distorted monotonal narrative enter and from here it's just a wrecklessly thought-out mess of of dirty 60s nightmare. Synth patterns are dominated by the slow-charging drums and it's head-back-Manson Family ICK.

Maybe it could be a little more dynamic, but analog purity gets the best of MaD. If well-mastered, this could be 7" of the year.

Nice packaging from Kimberly Dawn, but again, it's a tiny little baby CD, so have the foresight to rip it into iTunes before it gets lost under your couch.

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