Discorporeal by Benjamin Mauch

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Benjamin Mauch
Discorporeal (Flag Day Recordings; CS/DL)

Starting with a static-infused harmony, like a broken radio signal with an overlapping ambient track playing Blue Jaunte kicks off the latest tape from, his third since 2016.  It’s a pleasant layered distortion perfectly depicted in the pixelated coverart by Flesh & Bone. The carnival colored tones generated on Crystal Summer are quirky and irregular, with just enough cracks and pops that your listening to something captured, edited, obfuscated slightly. The layered backing drone, jagged and strident, escalates nearly ’til the end of the piece. Mauch uses the landscape as a foil to create his soundscapes here, which are formulated as long stretches, with small additions rather than parts and pieces that make up a whole. On Freelight he offers a well-lit atmosphere with minimal bells/whistles, and two or more passing drones that distinguish the space of sound.

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INSIDE/OUTSIDE: It’s a warm, inviting sound, in fact he’s added tiny “cuckoo clock” croons and other arcade type melodies to add a sense of play without too much levity. Memory Ring is a moment of pause, in its quiet minimal distortions. And the record plays like a series of audio haikus, short and sweet, with plenty of ambient space to breath and take in your place within the left and right channels. This feeling of floatation is most effective on the subdued and subliminal voice in The Ondine’s Pact. It’s quite the spector.

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CUBICLES NO MORE: The home stretch offers the more voluminous Outer Edge which is like a spaceship jettisoning to Earth at great altitude. It’s glow is hollow and white hot, with an anamorphic synth that blends into the wall of speckled drone. If your ears can differentiate white noise from the abundance of layers you will appreciate the attention to the very last detail. And in that breath comes Discorporate, which sounds like a bit of an anthem on this record, a coda or blueprint as to how these elements found each other within thin air. It’s a multi-shaded harmony, driven by an old school synth that leisurely unwinds – which is exactly what you will do once you put this to the tape heads, or spun from your CPU. Good day…no I mean it.

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