Following ‘Theta’ (Boring Machines, 2013) and ‘Delta’ (Yerevan Tapes, 2014), ‘Petra’ is the final piece in the trilogy of soundscapes based on Mai Mai Mai’s Mediterranean explorations. Composed to inspire romantic nostalgia for the human memories held in stone, Mai Mai Mai’s has created abstract soundscapes from field recordings and drones over rough, compact beats.
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- / Limited white vinyl one-sided/ silk-screen printed LP on CORPOC. Edition of 300 copies with 12-page photo booklet
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- Πέτρα (Petra) by Mai Mai Mai
7/10 Jim Staff review, 12 June 2015
Rome’s Mai Mai Mai is back with the final instalment of his trilogy documenting an audio/metaphysical journey across the Mediterranean, this one taking its the ancient Greek word for ‘rock’ or ‘stone’: ‘Πέτρα (Petra)’. Ten-minute opener ‘Bassae’ draws us in gently with grainy field recordings of breeze atop electronic humm and static interference. It then slowly sets up a groove with jagged bursts of bass and rippling electronic drones with wayward frequency sweeps; everything eventually coalescing into a dense industrial stomp that reminds me of Locust’s harder edged pieces. There’s nice use of poly-rhythmically pulsating oscillations to generate some serious disorientation and a somber, burrowing melody that adds an extra dimension of heaviness.
The shorter title track layers atmospheric field recordings on open-ended ritualistic percussion, with dictaphone vocal observations interspersed with spaced-out satellite soundwaves; reminding me of a strange Sun City Girls or Angus Maclise piece that’s been more self-consciously arranged by an electronic music sound designer.
Closer ‘Pelagos’ rides a pulsing wave with various strata of field recordings, some evoking the movement of water and others panning fragmented noise patterns as the pulse broadens into a distorted harmonic drone. Enjoyably varied and hard to pin down this one.
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