Betweenzone – “Mosaic” – Single Review
This is quite a trip!
Betweenzone…where do I even start this time around? It’s certainly not my first time experiencing the music of this band…yet in many ways, this feels like a complete reboot from what I knew in the past, or a leap forward in their evolution once again. “Mosaic” is more than just an ambitious track – it’s one of those rare gems out there that truly warrants such a massive length – it’s a full twenty-minutes long! Somehow they’ve really pulled off the impossible here though…I think it’s flat-out incredible in so many ways and I never once felt myself getting restless or remotely bored – I actually want MORE of this tune!
It’s also a preview of what’s to come…Betweenzone is hard at work on a record rumored to be coming out next year…which might be the only tricky part of this equation, but we’ll get into that in a bit here.
What is extremely awesome about “Mosaic,” is its strength in diversity. The duo of Betweenzone have truly let themselves loose into the creative realm, unafraid of what the results might be and inspired to make their own genuine art with their music. And if I’m being entirely honest with them, I think I’m probably as excited about this new adventure with Betweenzone as I have been with my favorite material in their past catalog so far…possibly even more so; in fact, arguably much more so in many ways. While I might love songs like “Time Has Come” from their last record Full Artificial Intelligence, or even the remixed versions found on their last EP – I suppose at the end of the day it could still be argued that it’s much more ‘straightforward’ as a song in terms of the writing, style, and execution. Doesn’t make it any less likeable or one iota less amazing, it’s just the structural songwriting facts as they are.
“Mosaic” is just about as anti-typical as a song can possibly get while still being riotously entertaining. And in my heart of hearts…I like to think that people out there will dig right into this, despite the intimidating length of “Mosaic” and its upcoming battle against the average short attention span. In this respect, I’m almost at a disadvantage here…I’ve grown up around music my entire life…I’ve written about it for more than half of my existence…and I know exactly what it takes in effort & focus to be able to pull something like this song off. Do other people out there get it? Do they understand that it’s not nearly the same thing or anything close to as simple as creating a longer version of a three-minute idea? Honestly, I sure hope they do. Artistic endeavors that come out this impressive deserve the credit. This much I can tell ya…if you were to ask ANY artist or band out there about the very idea of creating a twenty-minute long song, they’d likely decline the invitation – because most couldn’t hack it, full stop. It takes vision, it takes courage, it takes tremendous skill…and that’s what you’ll find from Betweenzone’s new single without question – “Mosaic” is an audio adventure unto itself, & unlike any other you’ll hear.
They blend worlds of sound in a expertly hybrid fashion, right from the very beginning as they drift into the opening intro through a classically-inspired opening. You’ll find this crossover potential exists just about everywhere you look at & listen to this tune…from the way they blend digitalized & real instrumentation, to more concrete examples like the first major shift you’ll hear past the two-minute mark. Betweenzone take you right into the heart of a stream of consciousness come to life, brilliantly taking their music into undeniably progressive terrain, while still somehow keeping listeners insanely captivated and right on the edge of their seat. I’m massively impressed with how you can listen to any one piece of this composition and it’s going to hold up seriously strong…from the amazing guitars, to the bass-lines, drums, effects, vocals, backing vocals…everything plays a gigantic role in this twenty-minute epic, and every part being played contributes powerfully to the overall results you’ll hear. In particular perhaps, once the music really starts developing, expanding, and exploring – you’ll hear all the instrumentation spring to life, but you’ll also hear a savagely brilliant use of the backing vocals and vocal samples in the mix that consistently provide a whole other layer to dig right into on “Mosaic.” Absolutely essential stuff happening there, no doubt about it – and when it comes to the lead vocals, you’ll find their artistic/poetic nature balances out the reality that creeps in through the backing vocals.
When you shift with the band in & out of the song’s most accessible or artistic spots, it can feel like “Mosaic” echoes the dreams we have…scattered, but related…all leading to somewhere, even if we don’t know what that might be. You’ll hear moments where the lead-vocals make Betweenzone’s new single easy to sing along with – and you’ll hear other spots like around the 11:30 mark, where they’ll begin a jaw-dropping descent into electro-influenced audio-adventurism. You’ll hear spots that are easy to digest, and others that completely challenge the mind and what you think you think you know about music altogether – and all in ONE magnificent experience! As a person always seeking out something new that I haven’t heard before, I completely salute what Betweenzone has created with “Mosaic” – because when you put this all together, there’s zero doubt that this is as unique of an idea as can be.
While it can be tough to pin down what you love the most in a twenty-minute track like this, the facts are that Betweenzone gives you plenty of options to choose from. What seriously impressed me most about “Mosaic” is how genuinely interesting it is at all times…as in, you’ll either find yourself caught up in the catchiness of its most accessible moments, or you’ll find yourself equally interested by the innate creativity in a cut like this. OR…you might even find yourself marveling at the sheer balance between it all…the fact that, it remains entertaining at all times, whether that means parts to sing along with, or parts that will engage your mind on an intellectual or artistic level. So much to love, so much to choose from, so many enticing factors and at no point in the entire adventure will you feel the wear & tear of the length…and that in itself, is an extraordinary achievement in a song as long as “Mosaic” is. You won’t find Betweenzone simply repeating verses & choruses here – they’re pushing the boundaries of their art to all-new levels and creative highpoints, allowing their exploratory nature to get the best out of their music in completely compelling and extremely exciting ways that are not often discovered by many. And YES…absolutely fair to infer that, you wouldn’t even attempt making a song of twenty-minutes in length unless you seriously loved the music you make and wanted to challenge yourself as an artist or band…you can fully assume that Betweenzone has their head & heart in the game like nearly no one else out there in the scene right now. I’d even go as far as to say, there really aren’t that many tracks of such a length like this, that I can think of personally, that have come out this solid from beginning to end…and I can think of at least a handful of twenty-minute tunes, but for real – every one of them that I can recall, all contain moments that could have been chopped or cut down for some reason. I wouldn’t change anything about “Mosaic” – and that in itself, says quite a bit.
Having been a genuine fan of their music for nearly two years now, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to much of what Betweenzone has put out into the world, if not all of it…at the very least, most of it for sure. And they know I’ve always been honest with them in terms of how I feel about their music; like many of you have discovered over the years, if there’s something to be said, I’m generally the one to say it. So hopefully, they’ll take that to heart when reading about how enthusiastic I am about this twenty-minute long creative masterpiece they’ve recorded with “Mosaic” – because all these good things I have to say are the truth…they’re simply facts and nothing more. These things I end up writing, are quite often (and hopefully) the same feelings, thoughts, and conclusions that anyone listening would draw to.
So just to make sure I keep them on their toes and prove my objectivity for the millionth time here at these pages of ours, I’ll end by expressing one potential concern I have…well…the only one I have really. And that’s the fact that “Mosaic” could end up on an album, as they’ve indicated it likely will next year.
How can that be a bad thing, you ask, after all these positive things I’ve said about it? Great question! And I’ll start by saying it certainly doesn’t have to be…it just depends on the record and what ends up surrounding it. Because I will say, that I think there’s a huge risk to surrounding “Mosaic” with a bunch of three-minute long pop-inspired tunes…I think that would create an unevenness that they might not recover from, and potentially dull the impact that every song could make in that scenario. And as I’ve clearly stated already, “Mosaic” is the kind of song that deserves to have its impact established. Surrounding it with a bunch of radio-friendly tunes would possibly upset the balance of genuine art they’ve achieved with “Mosaic” – so they really do have to be somewhat careful in how they go about preserving that from here. Ideally to me, we’re talking about the creation of a record similar to something like Godspeed You Black Emperor would make…whereby you might only get three or four songs in total, but that each are near that fifteen-to-twenty minute mark, and all equally amazing. I couldn’t confirm one way or the other what Betweenzone has planned for ya in 2020…but hopefully, it’s this latter scenario that is the case…I’d love a record with two or three more tunes like “Mosaic” with similar length, creativity, and inspiration…that would pretty much be incredible, straight up. And also extremely difficult to pull off…it’d be the toughest route of all the options in front of Betweenzone – but clearly possible based on what we hear in “Mosaic” – as in, if they did it once, they can certainly do it again somehow, and continue to thrill us with tracks that are as lengthy as they are entertaining. The safest road to success for “Mosaic” would be to release it as a single…because it does end up playing with the creative genius of a mini-album or EP in its own right…and there’d be no judgment from me in that respect if they chose to go that route. But my instincts tell me that Betweenzone has the passion, creativity, skill, and genuine interest to continue pushing their art and music to the next-level, whatever that may be, however it may come their way…they’re willing to pursue it all, with everything they got. So I’d expect that we likely will find “Mosaic” on a record in 2020…because I don’t think they’re even close to remotely afraid of taking a challenge like that on, and that they’ve got the ability to create equally powerful and engaging material to support this enigmatic preview of what’s to come.
Believe me when I say, I’m excited for the future of Betweenzone…2020 is already shaping up to be the defining year in the band’s history & music if they’re going in such an impressively ambitious direction such as this. Stoked to hear what they come up with next – and I fully believe that you will be too.
Find out more about Betweenzone at their official pages below!
Official Website: https://www.betweenzone.rocks
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