[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Gary Dassing loves his trilogies, throughout his career he’s given us installments of each phase using this construct. This latest one has taken over a decade to come to fruition; once again, Mentallo & The Fixer take yet another left turn into a region of artistic expression others would run screaming from. For him it’s quite a natural progression, one which he’s been plugging away at quite diligently. Sometimes I can make out just what it is he’s trying to do but generally it’s an instinctual process only he can possibly understand; I’m still trying to fully process this one but I think I’ve worked out the broader strokes.
On it’s face ‘Arrange the Molecule’ came across as yet more chaotic misanthropy but as the listens wore on I became aware that he’s actually making his way back into more recognizable song structure. Rather than taking the comfortable path which utilizes choruses, hooks and linear rhythms this record is a compendium of combinations; I’ve often seen images of him wearing a long robe but in the case of what’s going on here I’d suggest a lab coat. There are calculations being made; what he has done this time could be the most mathematical of all his releases and that isn’t said lightly.
His penchant for precision is well documented even if it does sound like the absolute opposite when you tune in. On a few tracks the percussion is so finely honed you can feel it slicing through layers of tissue in order to biopsy the reaction. As has become his habit as of late there are no vocals, leaving the listener with only the music to focus on; concentration is key here because if it wavers even for an instant you’ll become lost and have no hope of returning to the path. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t the entire point to what he does.
I’ve definitely been one to wind up in such surroundings following him over the years .
Striking a balance between between these two states and then somehow reconciling such a paradox is the best guess I can make as to the reasoning behind this new Mentallo. Just the right amount of ingredients, that perfectly designed key which will unlock the enigma and thus solve this auditory labyrinth… arranging those molecules at long last.
Then again, this is the concluding chapter to a massive undertaking and as such it makes sure to underline this via a remix medley of tracks from ‘Music From the Eather’ as well as the original version of “Russian Roulette With a Research Chemical” off the limited version of ‘Enlightenment Through a Chemical Catalyst’. I haven’t even addressed the other numerous remixes peppered throughout the tracklisting. We’re in possession of no mere random collection of noises he’s assembled and by the time it has finished playing you’ll know he’s wrung everything he can out of them; whenever he does re-surface (it’ll be a while) he won’t be composing this sort of material and god only knows where he’ll be transmitting from.
Mentallo & The Fixer – Arrange The Molecule
Alfa-Matrix Records, AM-2251-DCD