In today’s fast paced world of disposable and cookie cutter art, I have to say that not many albums catch my ear in such a way that I want to listen over and over and over again. Or shall I say, there’s not many full pieces that I fall in love with. So much music in the electronic world (and beyond) is formulaic, and musically it doesn’t take me anywhere. It’s meant to set a tone on a dancefloor, a tone of chill…or hype….or somewhere in between. But it’s not often that todays producers take you on journeys that are not controlled by self imposed limitations such as genre or tempo.
Someone, somewhere on facebook posted a link to the track above, Proper Parallels by Grass Mirror, a couple weeks ago. I don’t remember who, and don’t remember where. The only thing I remember is immediately being entranced and wondering ‘how the hell did he do that?’. After a bit of research, I found that this recent transplant to the Bay Area has been putting quality tracks out for 3 years. To make things even better, this was just one track of a longer 7 track masterpiece courtesy of ЯΛRΞ ППUƉΞS known as ‘atlasphere’, which you can listen to and procure for your own eardrums here. With my penchant for all things psychedelic, I’m pleasantly surprised to know that aural nuggets of this quality still lie undiscovered in the multiverse.
There is a certain vintage feel to this record. It’s dark and brooding, and very otherworldly. Not in the way that Boards of Canada or Bocuma make you think of a scrambled television set from the 70’s sitting in some dark corner of an alien spacecraft, but more in the way that one of the capacitors on your 30 year old analog synth went bad and for some reason that’s ok because damn this sounds GREAT! Creamy Moog-style filters are apparent on many of the lead and bass synths used throughout the EP. A mix of alternate-universe synthy feeling electronic and real world found sounds combine to put the listener in a place somewhere between two worlds. The beats are delicious. The arrangements are well thought out. The musicality is deeper than most producers even contemplate (See: actual chord progressions and melodies that follow them). My favorite part of this adventure through audio bliss is that although there is a silence between tracks…if I’m not paying attention I can’t tell where one song ends and another begins. This is a full piece, meant to be listened to from beginning to end, while getting lost in contemplation about space and time being elastic and music being the only constant the gods have bestowed upon us.
This record is truly unique. This is an artist honestly expressing themselves in ways that many artists don’t know is possible. Because of the originality I found here and the obvious delving into ones inner most depths to find their ‘voice’, I reached out to Grass Mirror to get an insight into his process. I was curious to know if his intention was as deep as his creations. I’ll leave you with this to contemplate, and hope that you get a chance to be inspired by ‘atlasphere’ as much as I did…..
“My process lies heavily in the realm of experimentation and appropriation. I’ve always found it more amusing to explore than to fully refine. My music thus far has been an endeavor into dissecting sound and rhythm that appeal to me. I draw from a wide variety of influences and I think that is well represented in the music I create. Transcendental states, astral projection, transmutation, and psychedelia have been sources of intrigue for most of my works and I find myself trying to convey those concepts and motifs into a sonic form.”
Tell us what you think of this piece of psychedelic auditory magic…