Mamiffer – The World Unseen

Posted: 19 March 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , ,

SIGE Records – 1st April 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

How often do you read reviews with the words ‘haunting’, ‘evocative’ and ‘brooding’? I’m as guilty of trotting these terms out as the next hack, and I’ll admit that oftentimes, I feel like a bit of a twat for doing so. Hyperbole doesn’t enthuse me as a writer or a listener. I can’t speak for all reviewers, but I mean them sincerely. I live and breathe music, it’s in my blood and it’s in by brain. Music moves me, and I use it to both reflect and to steer my moods.

But on The World Unseen, Mammifer (Seattle duo Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner) forge a transcendental listening experience from piano, voice, guitar, Wurlitzer organ, bass synthesizer, tape machines, and effects pedals, and over the course of the album’s eight tracks transport the listener, taking them first inside their own minds, and then heading on a long trip outside.

They’ve not done this without the assistance of some noteworthy collaborators:

Eyvind Kang was responsible for the string arrangements. Geneviève Beaulieu (Menace Ruine) and Joe Preston (Thrones and formerly Melvins, Earth, The Need and High on Fire) make guest appearances on “Domestication of the Ewe pt. III”, contributing additional choral vocals and bass. But The World Unseen is very much about its creators remaining in the long shadows while the expansive music that conjures images of a mythical age which predates human supremacy and instead evokes hills and trees, stands on its own merits.

Soft, subtle vocals drift over carefully-constructed passages of delicate ambience, rolling piano and layer upon layer of considered strings. In places, only the rumble of wind over a microphone is audible. As a sustained rumble, it’s menacing, but heard as wind, it’s the sound of a vast open expanse and somehow strangely liberating.

The World Unseen is a subtly powerful and ultimately moving work. It is without doubt quite definitively ‘haunting’, ‘evocative’ and ‘brooding’. It also speaks to the subconscious self and resonates on an almost subconscious, biological level.

Mamiffer - The World Unseen

Mamiffer Online

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