"Often the term 'electronic music' brings to mind dark, crowded nightclub dance floors with loud, throbbing bass that one feels coursing through the floor as flashing strobe lights frantically sweep and scan the intoxicated faces of sweat-drenched, whirling, techno-loving ravers. Such isn't the case for mayfairgrin and their 2007 studio album, Memoirs From The Deep End. Instead of cold, angry, and calculated music that threatens to induce seizure-like dancing, sleeplessness, and heart-attacks, mayfairgrin seek to wrap the listener in a warm blanket of molten melodies and chilled rhythms. Memoirs is impressionistic music, existing outside of the verse-chorus-verse structures of a three-minute pop song. The music expands and blurs the boundaries between various mainstream, yet uncommon, music genres, including shoegaze, gothic, ambient, industrial, post-rock, and electronica.
The music found on Memoirs From The Deep End is expansive and melancholy; teetering somewhere between the depressed and the sanguine. This is an expansive record that clocks in at over sixty minutes, which might be an investment for the casual listener. However, those that appreciate more cerebral, electronic-leaning artists/bands such as Massive Attack, Bowery Electric, Boards Of Canada, Aphex Twin, Moby, and Dead Can Dance, will find that the record is well worth repeated listens.
Memoirs opens with track number one, 'Dear Gosling', an ominous start that gives way to a melancholy organ serenaded by cello and wisps of Pink Floyd-like, psychedelic synthesizer. A crawling bass line lays the foundation for the gliding trip-hop beats that dominate the track.
'Arabianesque' effortlessly follows the opener and takes the listener to distant eastern villages with exotic rhythms, industrial beats, and droning melodies, urging any hearing, able-bodied person to dance around a roaring bonfire with drum in hand. It’s not hard to imagine wild Arabian horses freely and furiously galloping at twilight across a sun-bleached Egyptian desert, with 'Arabianesque' as their cinematic musical backdrop.
Both epic and atmospheric, 'Making Mud Stars', track three, floats blissfully out from underneath 'Arabianesque' with symphonic strings and skittering drum-n-bass that ebb and flow for fourteen minutes. Ambient, cerebral, and sprawling, 'Making Mud Stars' coaxes the mind to breathe, relax, and explore waking dreams.
The fourth track, and the only actual song on the record, 'Of Distance and Resonance', features vocals by Fabian Rush from Synthetic Nightmare. Fabian’s soulful croon is complimented by acidic jazz, decelerated break-beats, synth, drops of reverb-drenched electric guitar, and theremin. The lyrics are inspirational, soul-bearing, deeply spiritual, yet simultaneously depressing and eerie: 'sometimes I want to burn my home / when I need to burn myself / I’m so afraid to lose these things…', 'please help me find beauty at my core / not this emptiness that I’ve seen before…', 'I’ve been peeling away layers…”, croons Fabian with angst and passion.
Track number five, 'The Raft Is Not The Shore', continues with a similar theme, yet lifts and lightens the mood found on the previous song: lightly picked guitar maneuvers over and under cascades of anthemic drums, synthesizer, and organ. The track increases in its intensity until the last two minutes, where it's then overwhelmed by the sparse and harmonic drones of the seventeen minute long, 'Filament'".
-VGN Noise Collective
RIYL cerebral, electronic-leaning artists (Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Bowery Electric, Massive Attack, Moby, and Dead Can Dance), intelligent, introspective, dreampop, ambient, shoegaze.
released August 1, 2012
Andrew Farris - synths, guitars, efx, arrangement, programming, atmospheres | Fabian Rush - vocals on "of distance and resonance" | Amy Jording - additional programming | Noa Rubin - cover photography | Mika Rubin - cover model
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