Mutamassik has always tried to defy description, and has certainly become rather deft at it. Perhaps the label’s descriptor ‘arabified swamp music’ suits Symbols Follow, which hopefully will be as far out as Mutamassik’s previous works. Expect thumping, hypnotizing beats coated in strange sound collages.
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So apparently science is just another religion, or so ‘swamp musician’ Mutamassik puts forward in the liner notes for her latest opus Symbols Follow, a record with much more direction than such a wild statement. But it’s representative of the unhinged nature of the Mutamassik project, an intense meeting point of traditional percussion and modern electronic production.
The record lopes forward with rattling rhythms that could have ambled in from a swamp or desert, more generally (and less whimsically) from north Africa or the Middle East. These roots are completely recontextualised with stutter edits and sprinklings of effects into low-slung drum cacophonies, with colour taking the form of unfamiliar string instruments from which are ripped the torn slithery harmonics of double basses or violins. Both of these sound palettes and the transitions between them are simply stunning. The odd voice joins in the melee but is quickly repressed by her shattering virtual ensemble. Not even sure which bits are embellished and which are organic, which is surely a good sign.
Let’s just pretend that ‘swamp music’ is a real tag and that science is a religion for one album, but only one. An amazing one.
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