Myths and Mold – Chris Bartels (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

518m+i0DraL._SS500In many ways Myths and Mold exists in two simultaneous yet diametrically opposed worlds. The studio buff and technical music geek will embrace the textures that make up the music, the layering of drums, the hypnotic note peddling, the way guitar and vocal tracks in particular are built out of ever shifting and gossamer thin washes which combine in vividness and detail as each aural brush stoke is applied one on the other. Even the sound of the room becomes part of the instrumentation.
But there is another way of looking at such things. Although any recording is bolted firmly to the techniques and treatments of the studio it is born in, this is also an often structureless, free-flowing, musical stream of sonic consciousness. For all its existence in a modern and technical place it also seems to also inhabit an ancient and primal one. The sounds of the music are not those of modern instruments being put through their usual paces but seem more like elemental voices, drifting winds, distant thunder, tumbling skies and the sounds of long forgotten places where no human footprint has ever been left, all collected and blended into music.

Like much of my favourite music it goes beyond the limits of modern song, avoids conventional structures and expectations. It is both of the now, of the what might be and of the not quite remembered, a blend of cutting edge technology and shamanic channelling.

Timeless is a word that is much over used when applied to music, but here Chris Bartels does indeed fashion something timeless but also something without genre, location or direction. Why road sign your music for the listener, far better surely, to have them follow you off the beaten track with eyes full of wonder, open to adventure and ready to go with the flow?

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