Mystified - Instability
1.Brannon Construct (3:28)
3.SW 9 Variant (3:33)
4.Red Pink And Blue 2 (3:32) [mp3]
5.Brannon Construct 2 (3:44)
6.Chirps And Oscillations (8:26) [mp3 sample]
7.Beer Can Pulse (1:56)
9.SW 14 Chs (3:38)
11.Brannon Construct 3 (4:34)
12.Red Pink And Blue 3 (4:17)
Front cover is done by www.sandystudio.com. Track 4 and 12 features Ghoul Detail.
Thomas "Mystified" Park had this to say about the release:
"Many sounds were either found in my locale or created with a shortwave
radio. Granular synthesis was used in several pieces, and a special mixing
process to emphasize the stereo signal. You might say that this album was
inexpensive to make-- but doesn't sound cheap to the ear."
This record is limited to 60 numbered copies, and it was released 22.Jan.2007.
Having previously reviewed Mystified's "M" two-disc set I was expecting good things of this CD and once again I was not to be disappointed. Thomas J. Park's expertise in handling and understanding noise and sound were similarly very much in evidence as they were on the "M" release, and his unerring ability to create stories, moods and atmospheres with just a few well-chosen sounds and treatments is as strong and as well-developed as ever.
Parks works with a broad palette, utilising everything from cold icy ambience and environmental sounds, to glitchy rhythms and treated sounds, all carefully pieced together to achieve the right effect, as any artists worth the epithet does. The treatment is often minimalist, but it's the accumulative effect that brings it all together and imparts the impression of complexity. Swoops, drones, whistles, repetitive rhythmical figures, voices, birdsong, whooshes, and jet engines, in themselves mundane, familiar and unremarkable, when extrapolated from their natural surroundings and contexts, and then treated, transformed, mutilated, stretched, distorted, chopped and changed and finally layered together with sounds not normally associated with them, take on a wholly different meaning, leading us to listen anew. This is Parks' innate speciality, his sonic wizardry, but unlike the one in Oz this particular wizard doesn't obfuscate with knavery or trickery - it's a genuine magical talent.
Take the "Brannon Construct" suite - vast engines and machines defying the human scale, going about their mysterious and autonomous business without reference to mankind. Or the "Red Pink and Blue" twosome, created in conjunction with the UK's Ghoul Detail, minimalist backgrounds with highlights of even more minimalist drones and burbles overlaid, an impersonal inspection from a cold impersonal electronic gaze. Other highlights: the swirling grating of the title track like some hungry bug waiting to feed on you; the looped glitch beat of "Particles" as atoms like tiny birds gyrate and dance; and finally the quiet ebb and flow of "Chirps and Oscillations", shortwave fluxes set against a tribal rhythm, a broadcast from some far-flung outpost of civilisation.
Once again Parks has woven his magic spell, weaving tales from the warp and weft of the sonic materials at his disposal, and entrancing us with the alien, the weird, the grotesque and the bizarre. This is one story I'll continue to want to hear again and again.
MYSTIFIED - INSTABILITY (CDR by Ambolthue Records)
Despite the fact that Mystified has a website, we don't learn much about the band, except that they released quite a lot of material, and that one of their releases has a remix by Robin Storey, a.k.a. Rapoon. I think I wish I didn't know this. The simple reason is that I was already thinking that Mystified sounded a bit like Rapoon, but even more like the old Zoviet*France, the area when Storey was still a member. But perhaps now everyone thinks I made this up after reading about the remix. Well, either way, I was and still am a big fan of the old zoviet*france stuff, and especially their longer works, I think Mystified with their somewhat shorter approach, leaps the big gap that has been there for many years now, quite nicely. Rough, sketch like, psychedelic, partly rhythmic (more techno than ethno), this is quite a nice release, stirring good memories and offering new ones.
Vital Weekly nr.563