The titles here are abstract, cryptic, giving no concrete clue to their inspiration or deeper meaning: Temple Laundry, Textural Blue Conundrum, the punning Miro In The Bathroom. They are, perhaps, merely words in pretty arrangements that mirror / reflect the playful programmed patterns of the music. Where percussion laps loosely in Art Of Noise / Camilla (The Old, Old, Story) tides, and busy molecules bump against one another politely. Elements – such as hand drums, sampled, found, chatter (an overheard Zoom session?), treated guitar textures, all manner of whistling machines, evolving in electro-acoustic synergy as various computers and keys – switching between harpsichord and reed-like frequencies – engage in choruses of call-and-response. As if planted, and growing in harmony, in Conrad Schnitzler`s Electric Garden. For example the sunset / sunrise accordion tones – set to sooth sore heads – that float within Fascinating Lavender Compass – dance amongst gamelan bowls, who themselves are mimicked by sedate kosmische bleeps. On Come Come The Rain bell-like chimes and ethereal sighs combine with synths that swell and blink, cinematic, suggesting one of Joe Hisaishi`s Beat Takeshi scores, say Sonatine. The album`s longest track, the near 8 minute, Hearts In Flood, is a fusion of global sounds, a graceful groove – that begins by having its beats scratched in, and then travels from stately church organ to tabla and backwards sitar buzz. The piece`s crystal clear 6-string picking, conjuring cosmic Americana as lush as one of Bill Laswell`s ambient pan-planet collisions. If there`s an overriding reference point, then it`s probably the kankyo ongaku of its creator`s adopted homeland. The mood not melancholic, but peaceful and mindful, one of meditation. Where isolated notes are allowed to hang in the air, shaping slow melodies. Their sustained drones not static but constantly moving through microtonal changes, singing, flexing, in subtle flux.
Max Essa`s Miro In The Bathroom is available directly from Jansen Jardin. Don’t forget it`s Bandcamp`s Fee-Free-Friday at the end of this week. Perhaps put the album in your basket today, and save checkout until then.