Saturday, March 24, 2018

CD Review:
Mahler Haze
"A Range of Solutions"
(Personal Archives)

$5 //
Edition of 50 //  //

As a teenager I grew up with compact discs for the most part.   I had cassettes in my younger years and then when CDs actually became a thing I switched to them except for the fact that I had a tape deck in my first car so I would spend time putting CDs onto cassette so I could listen to them in my car.   In 2018, CDs seem pretty obsolete.  Having a Walkman seems like less of a uncool thing to do than a Discman.   But, I must tip my hat to Personal Archives for putting out CDs that not only have solid music on them but look visually appealing.  I had this old wire cassette rack at one point and now I want it back (my mom says it's in the attic) so I can put it on my wall and fill it with CDs by artists no one who sees it will have likely ever heard before.

"A Range of Solutions" begins with beats and there is this clicking sound in it as well, like the wooden block that starts off your recording in Garage Band.   Synth blasts bring out harmonic drones and it feels like we're in space.   Static fills the air too now, as if we are in a spaceship and someone opened the pod bay door, but you know, the rhythm keeps on keepin' on.     The frequency and beeping comes in when it feels like the situation has become more dire.    This all leads us to guitars being added in and they sound metal because I do feel like we're about to open up into some Metallica song ("Wherever I May Roam" or "For Whom The Bell Tolls" perhaps?) 

As seemingly all other pieces of this track fade away, synth lasers are brought in as if we're at one of those light shows they always used to have with Pink Floyd but I don't ever remember going to in my youth.     The way it ends up fading out is worth noting as we turn into choppy frequency/synth which I'm not sure how you could make exactly because if you were using keys or a nob it doesn't seem like you could create this effect outside of shaking something or maybe bending guitar strings.   Did you ever have one of those cans when you were a kid and when you turned it upside down it sounded like a cow mooing?  My grandma loves cows and she has one and this reminds me of that for some reason, but if you were to kind of shake it while you tip it upside down and fuck with the sound (Which if I remember correctly you could totally do)

"Extended Landfall" has drums and guitars.   While it is instrumental it falls more into a metal category than most of this CD so far but there are also these distorted parts that make me feel like this is somewhat psychedelic.    There had to be metal bands in the 1970's combining that hippie shit with metal, right?  Point me towards some if so.   But this is just killer guitar work right here.   This becomes some sort of jingling but unlike what I've heard before and then it descends into a pit of static doom.

This takes us into a lighter track now with wavy whirrs coming through like magic.   Actual waves like the ocean come crashing through in the background and the electronics can also resemble birds- seagulls- at times as well, which is more of a way of thinking than an actuality.    While the feelings have been mixed from space madness to trippy anger thus far, this song has set the tone for relaxation.   In many ways, I find these patterns to be soothing.    An electronic beat of sorts comes through now and it has progressed from being relaxing to something which makes me want to get up and move: not dance, just go outside for a walk.    It would be as if I was outside walking this whole time and now we're nearing the end of the walk, coming back home, so we have to pick up the pace and give it that one last hurrah until I can sit down again.

Dark synth whirrs bring out laser beats and this whole thing has an electronic sound to it now but in a place that you won't want to go unless you wear all black.    Shots crackle through like tasers.    A sort of pinball glitch feel now as well, this feels like we're on some sort of space highway.   It reminds me of how they travel in Bladerunner, but the original one not that new one.    Then sounds remind me of lightsabers and I'm thinking this has a bit of Star Wars in it before the electronic drums come banging into the next song.    Jarring vocals come out on "Commission" as well.   They're all chopped up and even sped up at times.    This has the beats with it still, but it maintains this certain level of being trippy just the same.    It feels like things are falling apart.

Droning sort of foggy hues bring out this skipping laser electronic feel.   This takes me back to a few tracks ago, as these uplifting type synths come out, as it makes me feel like music for meditation.   These little chirps come through at the end before it feels like we are carried off to heaven.    It's odd that the contrast between songs can go from feeling relaxing to pumped and yet sometimes they can even have that feeling within the same track.   There aren't many pieces of music I can say this about but "A Range of Solutions" can either get you going or help you focus-- the choice of how you use this invaluable tool is up to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment