Marsman – Mindwarp


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

I hadn’t expected to hear something quite so… chewy from Marsman or Xtraplex, I’ll confess. ‘Mindwarp’ certainly lives up to the name it’s been given. He’s created a slowly evolving study in primordial electronic assemblage. Is this a breakdown of magnetics via solar radiation? Check. Is this anything like what he’s done previously? Yes and no. Was it originally a prettier collection of tunes? What defines that.

What defines anything in such a place.

That right there is what I feel is at the core of ‘Mindwarp’, the perceptions of what can be construed as definitive. Nothing stands still, foundations come apart within the span of a few seconds. Up above, what had been harmonic, melodic intentions come crashing down into the disintegrating chaos; this literally sounds like a very hypothetical equation becoming undone by the touch of a few keys, or buttons or… who even can say. All I know is that multiple layers of sound are being forced into an ever decreasing amount of space.

We all know what happens when such conditions exist in the cosmos, so why not here on Earth in the auditory arena. Interestingly, the more you look at ‘Mindwarp’ as following the life cycle of a star the better you may come to understand it. That’s not to say you’ll play this around others and they’ll latch onto this line of logic, odds are you’ll draw the same kind of apathetic malaise I’ve encountered. Those quick dismissals from unwilling ears seem to be multiplying as we move through the 21st century so let’s leave them to it.

Marsman’s latest isn’t for those who are going to interrupt repeatedly to ask who it is and suggest their own favorites that this “reminds them of”. ‘Mindwarp’ is best enjoyed around people who aren’t consumed by categories, genres or the opinions of others. This is rugged, untamed synthetic experimentation; if things got any more free form there would be no beginning and no end, just a constant humming in your ears while the tendrils of sound slip inside them to explore your cortex. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: this isn’t even 30 minutes long which makes for not only an unpredictable ride but also a concisely focused one.

I’ll let you work that paradox out yourselves.

Xtraplex Records, xpl027
Digital 2016

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