Death Of The Ego
TBR: 2nd November
Exploring the vibe left in the wake of Squarepusher's epic post-techno work, Colin Mawson pushes his ego to one side and allows the nature of his talent to really push through. Taking jazz influenced melody and groove with ambient electronica as the backbone, this varied diet of ingredients provides a wash of musical capability. I wonder how much of Colin Mawson made it onto this record and how much of it is the spirit of the scene which of course possesses all who take part in it?
Death of the Ego opens with the title track. A piercing and haunting piano melody sprawls out over the silent mountains. It gathers speed like a gracefully climbing swan, and then settles into lofty buoyancy somewhere just above our heads. Subtle noises sprinkle the backdrop with wanderings of mindfulness while the melody runs through disjointed scales and unisons which dapple like sundrops on forest floors. Shrill yet perfectly mixed tones creep around the top as if they were watching eyes, peaceful but sentient none the less.
Track two revolves and shows a new side of this musical coin. Funky basslines curb the flowing dream sensations and give a platform for swish drumming to melodically play with the metalwork and snare. Chords on the strings with plucked intonations swerve from side to side around the steady beat. Late bar atmospheres build from the floor upwards as the softly distorted guitar and bass jam together in expertly composed frills of sound. Obfuscate progresses really well, as the melody builds so does the music. New sounds join the evolving tones like choral birds while the melody pushes further into the realms of sky.
Enough Rope? Takes a turn into a more gloomy corridor. Echoic drumming with distorted vinyl crackle builds a mattress for oddly harmonised notes to twinkle like distant lights. As the glow approaches nearer, or we approach it as the case may be, resonance and resolution bring out more of the illuminatory semblances. Soon an electric guitar crashes down and with perfectly poised power chords, sets the piece on fire. A chorus perhaps, as it dwindles back into the embers and glows gently in the form of wobbling underscore.
Vocal sample with classic step drumming opens the fourth number. Synthesiser chords vibe with a guitar melody in a duet of breezy melodics. Fresh air after the exploration of the underworld in the previous offering, The Futility of Human Endeavour marks a turning point in the way things face on this album. Now with less sense of permanence, the track relaxes into a world that remembers but not forever. One day in the future, the Earth itself will be consumed by the fire of the Sun, red and furious. If we manage to find somewhere else to live, what will remain? Perhaps only digital copies and a few antiques in museums.
Cobbles takes a dreamy wander through a pianist's imagination, settling the dust from the massive journey already undertaken. Music that changes, evolves, and runs smoothly from track to track is extremely difficult to work well. Colin Mawson did this, and the best pert is that the music sounds good too. Themes from many artists creep through, with sonics reminiscent of DJs to rock bands, the distance from each side of this album is eye wrenching. It's fun and something that can be listened to while working or while sitting and relaxing with a book or with headphones. There's plenty of space to play and plenty to listen to at the same time.
Listen to and buy Death of the Ego by Colin Mawson on Bandcamp
Follow Colin Mawson on Soundcloud
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Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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