Natural mind is a charming record, full of contrasts between light, giddy passages of sound, warm drones and non-musical meanderings. The level of detail is held down by occasionally forthright rhythmic plods, but at no point is this anything other than a sheer joy to have whistling and warbling around the ears.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 07 February 2018
It’s landscape but you can’t live there. Creating gorgeous fields in abstract shapes and plateauing geometry, Galaxy Express 555 has made the soundtrack to a nature you’ll never know. His latest record is actually called ‘Natural Mind’, and it’s as good a title as you could hope for: hold this ecosystem in your head.
It’s a gorgeous electronic melt, with drones that separate and simmer, bouncing into one another like a pleasantly hectic game of Videoball. Christopher Farstad, for that is his real name, has sparsely orchestrated the record with both melodic instrumentation and squelching sound foley, offering a more traditional idea of folk music (like, flutes) with a far more expectant one -- think Spencer Clark’s infuriating electronic excavation ‘The World of Shells’, but brightened by hand-holding melody.
No matter how cluttered and endless in possibility this record becomes, it beams down an atmosphere as permanent as a planet’s sun. Shapes shift, percussion bounces and motifs wrestle each other like plants writhing around in the same ecosystem -- and yet you could listen to ‘Natural Mind’ and feel like you never once left your vantage point. This is a lovely, vast and open world to run like an .exe.
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