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Reviews
Mint - Cardboard Rocketships
Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Jack The Ripper

Cardboard Rocketships

Artist: Mint United Kingdom

Title: Cardboard Rocketships

Label: Boltfish Recordings United Kingdom

Genre: IDM / Ambient / Glitch

Track Listing:

01 I Don't Kvetch
02 Grace
03 System Cost
04 Keiji's Dream
05 Personal Spaces
06 Aquarius
07 Shine (Mint Remix)
08 Musicbox Skit
09 Tricycle Days
10 Shoes Too Big For Her Feet
11 Dorothy's Song
12 Dead Pixel
13 Whispering Gallery

We have been informed ourselves here at Heathen Harvest of the incredible progress that the UK label Boltfish Recordings has been delivering with their signed acts and magnificent productions, itemizing the latest introductions of new electronic acts from that region of the world where many purveyors and geniuses has contributed to generate advancement and paradigms. The newer complex within the electronic scene consist on a series of syncretisms, some of them manifested in the form of generic intercourse, while some others pretend to rescue old styles from the electronica in order to renew them with a post modern touch. This could be the case for Mint. A band from the UK lead by co-owner from Boltfish Murray Fisher who covers old style music electronic with a futuristic range and positive colourful spectrum emphasized on melody and chilling cadences. His music has a plastic kind of sonority full of variations and filigreeing percussions with warm tonalities, delicate ornaments, polished and clean and presenting an immaculate production. The limited edition CD comes accompanied by a DVD that includes some videos from songs of the album. So let’s see what this Indigo child brings.

The music starts gently, slowly going into subtle development almost like the slow framed expansion from a flower. Melody kicks in crossing multiple other layers, creating a cascade of crossed arpeggios formerly based on warm passages of synth pads. In general the cadence from the work is calmed and prosperous anchored in a retro sound feel into space electronica that goes back to “Heaven & Hell” Vangelis, harmonious and spacey with beautiful finish lines and sharp sonority. The rhythmic section is a never ending spiral of effects and dedicated subtleties, focused more to be an adjacent standout for the harmonies and to arrange a softened transition for its warmness. Glitch effects and chill out downtempo rhythms will be the general norm but some tracks escape this only to increase a little bit the tempo in order to add a subtle touch of childlike awkwardness. There is a venturous vocation appreciated for harmonic arrangements and some tracks stand out as epicentres from this characteristic. “Grace” for example brings delicate xylophonic like ornaments conforming a delicate mantle of harmonious beauty aided by Glitch rhythms and rounded beats. This is a very evocative piece that awakes distant memories and gives corporal effect to colourful dreams. There is space for more somber practices though as not everything in life is happiness and tarts. “System cost” contains some nebulous darkness reminiscent from Gothic ambient rhythmically instrumentalized in minimal glitch pulsations and foggy atmosphere, a sense of nostalgia and opaqued hopes are invoked in the visions transmitted by its sonority. This aside from being a fundamental sound dissidence within the work brings a great exemplar of the compositional magnitude from the author, able to jump in different perspectives and sonic charms, preserving the warm touch and the lack of tension even in darkness. Perfect adaptation on IDM with ambient in a eerie environment with a definitive chill out appeal. “Dead pixel” shares similar dimensional perspective but this time more dedicated on arpeggios and plastic dynamism, with a heavy influx from the old school from ambient. The track brings a space dimension through the melodic sequences and the unfathomable rhythmic dynamics that propel the listener in an aural excursion into the space confine. Electro pads and breaks rhythmic sequence kick in creating the perfect hybrid resonance with a strong sense for progression.

Groovyness is present too, shadows from the 60’s are present in “Personal spaces” with a bass line and rhythmic cadence that triggers flashbacks from Serge Gainsbourg. Groovy waves of melodic plasticity and solid warm bass lines kick in, setting a delicious and placid atmosphere of melancholic undertones.

Two tracks condescend with the more bright and happy side from the album: “Tricycle days” and “Dorothy’s song” constitute simple yet catchy infantile like melodies that delicately construct a fully organic instrumental texture. A collage of beeps over a basic synth sequence creates a general mood of playfulness that will divert the listener’s inner child. These tracks even though consolidated in a somehow elemental melodic line really display a very complex formation, as demonstrated in other tracks, one of the abilities of the author is to juxtapose several melodies to conform a solid harmonic structure almost like a fugue in some way. Finally we have the more atmospheric piece with a vast ominous sound conformation. “Ulrich schnauss-shine (mint remix)” presents vast spleen tone, highly melodic as usual but increasing the amplitude of the atmospheric background. A synthesized piano commands the melodic line that sounds as if were played into deep space accompanied by an intricated rhythmic set. This is probably the more moving and transcendental track assented track from the whole album.

“Carboard rocketships” is a very soothing album filled with chilling music with a right guess on melody but decidedly not brain-dead into content, able to communicate with the listener and touch his soul fiber and demonstrating a high compositional calibre. His music presents a varied spectrum of elements that results dynamic, entertaining and above all suggestive for the listener, inducing in him feelings and luminous vistas. The mix of groovy aspects and the melodies imagined with a happy infantile fantasy stand out the vivacity from the record. At times it reminds a bit of boards of canada typical organic mood concocted in the artificial flavors from Mike & the rich. However he leaves space for other aural studies, more personal and intriguing, richly colored and imaginative, exploring other contexts and other mix possibilties, granting space for somber lines and more melancholic cadences that remains as highly representative, equally skilful and memorable. Very solid album in general, very intrepid and refreshing, definitively showing that not everything is doom and gloom but there is also opportunities for our inner child to show up. Thumbs up!

     



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