Mercy Choir – Two Machines In The Garden – Album Review
What I can tell you right away…is that this is NOT a club-beat of any kind. I can tell you this is NOT the dance music to get your grandmother up and out of her chair unexpectedly after five years. I can tell you that there’s a distinct absence of screaming death-metal and nary a verse of rap to be found on any of the 16 bar sets you’ll find on Two Machines In The Garden by Mercy Choir. I can tell you there’s no Kelly Clarksons or Josh Grobans trying to raise-up this track in any way…
It’s definitely all much different than what you probably typically listen to.
In fact…if you don’t know of the band Colleen…or perhaps maybe 800 Cherries…then there are not a lot of comparisons musically that I would be able to make that can help you through this review. Here with Mercy Choir you have music that is much more akin to soundtrack or soundscape work; if there’s one more important reference to make after mentioning those two attributes…well…for those of you who dig on the atmospheric/instrumental work of Brian Eno…grab your spork and dig into Mercy Choir!
Or just find the courage and bust out of your typical playlist and put this on for a half-hour to experience something unlike that of which you’d normally listen to; after all, Mercy Choir found the courage to make it. Listening can’t require the same amount of effort that’s been put in here…you’ve got nothing to lose and stand a wonderful & mysterious musical experience to gain. Jump in!
As if on cue Mercy Choir…my wife actually just shouted “I like this,” from the adjacent room; that’s kind of a big deal around here anytime it’s music that isn’t being made on a beach from a dude in shorts & sandals… To this I say, ‘well-done Paul Belbusti,’ – the man & mind behind the music of Mercy Choir, for my wife likes about 2 out of the 600 songs I’ve written.
We’ve got two beautiful machines in this garden here; one short to whet the appetite, and one supremely long, twenty-four minute follow-up machine. “Machine 1” breaks us in slow with a beautiful jangle…scattered somewhat for some I’m sure, but beautiful in the crystal-clarity of sound. These opening tones becoming increasingly inviting and warm in their nature in a gradual build towards the end…a sweet beginning and extremely unique opening to an entirely new sound.
“Machine 2” carries the weight and the bulk of this two song set. Displaying a true mastery of soundscape and atmosphere, this track shows the extreme ambient abilities of Mercy Choir to create something captivating and minimalist at the same time. Each of these sounds, cymbals, frequencies are accompanied by an ominous tone that sounds like a true journey in sound. The possibilities for soundtrack work for Mercy Choir could theoretically be endless after releasing Two Machines In The Garden into the world; there’s a real depth of knowledge in sound on this record that really shows some highlights and excellent production values all throughout.
The additional instrumentation that chimes in around six-and-a-half minutes in serves the track well to bring in a bit more melody. The instincts of Mercy Choir are fantastic; every time you feel as if you might drift away into their dreamscape the music adds a new and subtle element to pull you back in. The use of the ominous droning tone in the back of it all swells closer and further away if you’re listening closely, and that adds massively to the clarity of what’s happening around it, making it more intense or more minimal in an understated way the whole time. Overall…from a music-producing standpoint, this is completely stellar to listen to.
The drums intensify around the ten minute mark and continue to build quietly in a rumble throughout the next several minutes. Cymbals break through with bright, beautiful crashes and you can’t help but feel like you’ve just become George Clooney in the movie Gravity as you float through this musical atmosphere entrenched in a deep-space feeling. As the bass continues to rumble and build, mystical sounds and guitar elements are added creating a fantastic world of sound you can truly find yourself lost in.
I’m not even remotely kidding. I think I started this review a week ago and I’ve been typing a word an hour while having this new album from Mercy Choir on repeat. Lost…floating…free…in the most beautiful of ways and into the fantastically-subtle & dynamically-minimal sounds of Mercy Choir…and loving every second.
Find out more at the official page for Mercy Choir at: http://www.paulbelbusti.com/ and support the music through Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mercy-Choir/227017269551
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