Sunday, 31 March 2013

Mister Lies - Mowgli

Only just realised that this is my second post on a Chicago-based musician in a matter of weeks.   Not that there's much else, on the face of it, that's similar about the Diane Marie Kloba album and this, an electronic masterpiece from the Lefse label.  Beneath the surface, though, there's a common throbbing vein of experimentalism and a desire to probe and manipulate unconventional sonic soundscapes that makes the two releases fascinating a comparable with little else I've heard recently.

Admittedly this doesn't tell us anything at all about Chicago, but it does reveal something about Mister Lies, who released a whole raft of singles and EPs throughout 2012, most of which I've only just caught up with: all of them offered strands of enticing musical ideas that have built up to this, an eight track masterpiece that on the strength of only a few listens muscled its way into my top ten albums of 2013 (so far) list last month.

Now, you're about to hear (assuming you tune in) Mister Lies, the alias of producer/artist Nick Zanca, on my Dandelion Radio show for the first time, streaming from tomorrow at various times through the month, starting with an 11am (UK time) broadcast on Easter Monday.  That I've chosen 'Dionysian' to play from the album may be considered a little strange given my show's insatiable penchant for the new - this track, after all, came out as a single some five months ago.  There's a simple reason for this: the track's an absolute stormer and I'm angry at myself for not having played it sooner, so its appearance here gives me an opportunity to rectify that and also give you the best possible introduction to this fine album.

Not that you should stop with 'Dionysian', of course.  Other highlights on Mowgli include the expansive opener 'Ashore' and the evocative 'Hounded', which features a gorgeous vocal performance from Aleksa Palladino.  'Canaan', a mere snippet of a track at less than two minutes, manages to cram more into its truncated length than other artists could find in five times the length.  To say that it, like the rest of the album, punches above its weight is a massive understatement.

As with other tracks on the album, 'Canaan' draws on a guest performance, in this case a vocal and field recording courtesy of Julia Rose Duray.  I'm slightly ashamed to say I know little about Zanca's collaborators here, but he's clearly a man with perfect judgement because each contributor offers something slightly unique to every track while not detracting even slightly from the project as a whole.

Get a copy of Mowgli here and, while you're at it, bookmark the page and keep checking back.  Something this good has got to have plenty more to say in the future, and you're doing to want to hear it.

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