A digital only release.
About Morning City
Musique Concréte influenced artist Mystified (aka Thomas Park) presents Morning City, a musically expressed sound collage inspired by the struggle and hope one can feel living in an American urban setting. The substance of this audio-montage is drawn from a large body of original field recordings that are spliced, mixed and merged with layered piano riffs and unique ambient bass lines, while ever-evolving mechanical drones paint a sonic backdrop for the bustling cityscape.
“These industrial environments are designed to render and convey the experience of living in a larger city at various times and various conditions,” states Mystified. “Morning City strives to evoke the urban environment both as mythic and real.” This creative approach to the more abstract sensibilities of ambient music sculpts noise and found sounds, so common in our daily routines, into form, structure and perspective, extracting space from the space already around us and unveiling a unifying theme that binds us to our modern view of reality.
Morning City is an album that fits squarely into the industrial ambient style. By skillfully blending and enhancing the machine-driven drones, accents and resonances of the evolving city-based soundscapes, Mystified creates a riveting listening experience where the rhythms of the city emerge, pulsing with life and artistic purpose.
One of the numerous advantages bound to my hobby of EM reviewer is to have developed over the time an excellent relation with the artists and the labels of the musical genre. Thus, I had this possibility of opening my ears, less and less timorous, to a more underground music, to a music of which the points of comparison simply don't exist. This way I was able to discover some fascinating artists whom I would have never considered with these ears which were molded for a more melodious kind. And if Steve Roach made me understand that under each rock is hide a symphony, artists such as Mystified made me understand that under each of these rocks also are hide a parallel universe where the noise is dominant. I knew Thomas Park's fascinating universe via his collaborations with Shane Morris in this highly avant-gardist trilogy on the evolution of the Jurassic world. Mystified participated in more than 350 music projects and with “Morning City” he does it again with an inspiring of an ambient industrial genre. To do it, Thomas Park has gathered an impressive bank of sounds samplings from the urban areas to which he grafted synth layers, scattered piano effects and a carpet of bass effects. The result is astonishing! And if one approaches “Morning City” with a minimum of open-mindedness, I got to admit that it took me more the one attempt, we surprise ourselves to perceive that music can really arise from the din.
It's in this context that begins the discovery of “Morning City”! Layers of ambient noises, we guess a concert of horns, and diverse hammerings, we guess an immense building site, are opening "Down to the Pier". Droplets of water ooze behind this ambient sound jumble where also snores the zeal of machines. Even without beats, “Morning City” isn’t exactly the mouth of calm! "On the Fire Escape" reminds it to us with short noisy movements which come by jolts. Very cunning the one who can guess out a noise of this mass of percussive effects! Only the humming of the ferryboat indicates to us where Thomas Park places his imagination. There are a little less corrosive titles to the ears, as this turbulent waterfall which flows in secret in "Freight", a quite immersive piece of music. "Industrial District" is little in the same mold but with a more acuteness tone, while "Storm Sweeps In" is rather intense and quite near of a tangible reality. There are small jewels of creativity on this Mystified album, such as "Reflecting Metal Cycles" which proposes a subtle pattern of tribal rhythm from a society in movement. There is a beat very near roots those of psybient which hatches around the 5th minute. I cannot chase away this collection of images which parade accelerated in Ron Fricke's documentary, Chronos. Notice that the soundtrack here is all the contrast with the floating music of Michael Stearns. "On the Fire Escape Reprise" is another little jewel with its rhythmic approach which appears from the hullabaloo depths of “Morning City” to espouse an almost frenetic form. The electronic dialogue of "Water", written with the cooperation of Ben Cox, rings as an extraterrestrial language which bounces by resounding bubbles on a sometimes tempestuous and sometimes silent bed of water among which the origin and the passage remain a mystery. With imagination we guess a little the sources of "Sun Thru Afternoon Window", a title of ambiences moved by fast blinking of lashes or by images which scroll in a jerky way on which Mystified has graft sounds and tones.
We would tax me of propagandist if I qualified this last album of Mystified of brilliant blow! I, who feel at ease as well in this musical genre as a cat on a bed of ice in mid-ocean, must admit to have listened to it by sequences. A title here and two other ones on other times, until my ears meet "Reflecting Metal Cycles". And I got the bite! I imagined Thomas Park's visions. And yes, it fits! But I believe in the end that to be a fan of industrial ambient music facilitates the discovery of an audacious album for my ears but on the whole very tasty for the amateurs of the genre.- Sylvain Lupari, Synth & Sequences
Spotted Peccary issues many different kinds of ambient music, with everything from sci-fi spacemusic to pastoral splendour available on the label. Thomas Park's Mystified project adds another piece to the puzzle in rooting its industrial-ambient productions in musique concréte strategies and drawing for material from the urban environment. The route leading up to Mystified's solo debut on Spotted Peccary was circuitous: training in classical and jazz as a teenager developed into a flirtation with techno and electronic sounds and the eventual birth of the Mystified persona. Though Morning City is Park's first solo release on the label under the name, it's not his first appearance, as he earlier collaborated with fellow ambient-electronic composer Shane Morris on a trilogy of releases, individually titled Epoch, Emergence, and Evolution.
To create Morning City's nine tracks, each of which functions as a carefully constructed sound collage evoking a different experience within the industrial zone, Park blended heavily doctored field recordings with conventional musical instruments such as piano and bass. Adding stability and structure, a mechanical drone often extends throughout a given piece as a backdrop to an array of sounds mutating at the forefront. “Reflecting Metal Cycles,” on the other hand, is animated by an insistently swaying rhythm in a manner that references, even if tangentially, dub-techno; rhythm also surfaces during “On the Fire Escape Reprise,” though in this case the repetitive rock groove registers more like the sounds of a drummer drifting to the street from an open apartment window.
In packing each piece with urban noise, Park's clearly not out to lull the listener to sleep. To that end, “Industrial District” functions as a miniature portrait of the release in arranging grainy whirrs, factory emissions, and machine rhythms into a ten-minute sound sculpture, the total effect so powerful it feels like an undertow. Throughout Morning City, buzzing electrical drones radiate alongside the reverberant clatter of a bustling city in action, and at such moments the release resembles an audio diary of someone moving through the industrial landscape on foot and ultimately shaping its sounds into an arresting urban symphony.- Ron Schepper, Textura