Rival Consoles - Overflow
June 28, 2022
Mukqs EP Anaglyph begins with huge humming towers of sound ameliorating either side of the listener. The sounds flip from one ear to the other, creating an odd stereo experience. A more fully formed sound fades in, getting sideswiped occasionally by the sporadic flitting from one ear to the other. The hum of the lower frequencies is numb at the back of the mix as the we hear more treble-driven noises appear across the mix. Towards the end, the track becomes more aggressive, as glissando samples suddenly jump out to then be swept up in the endless torrent of hyperactive transformation. The first track serves as an indication of the skills of the producer, and their ability to create an amorphous and indecipherable sonic experience.
Brushes begins to bring a more dynamic texture to the EP. Plumes of notes shoot upwards and downwards, branching out into territory yet uncharted. Mukqs keeps this same unpredictable freeform style as light piano notes scatter like petals on top of the shifting ground beneath. Slowly and subtly, a sonic narrative is built. The artist finds a midpoint between purity and manipulation as the sounds they produce are no doubt effected, but still hold this beautiful organic realism. The narrative structure is impossible to pin down, as the listener feels a pattern is forming, a new sound erupts suddenly from the belly of the track. This enables Mukqs to keep the experience of listening an active one, every so often a new frequency will unleash itself much to the surprise of the person hearing it. The layers seem so full and unhindered, but through the hyperactive chopping and manipulating of sound, we are introduced to new and unique corridors of the samples. A bright piano begins to play amidst the storm, but it too is swept up in the whirlwind of frequency shifting, distorting its sound. A moment of catharsis does come though, as the piano stumbles down into lower more definitive notes. This is one of the only moments that feels like a purposeful shift in the melodic nature of the track, and it hits so gracefully before succumbing to the torrent of noise. Deeper pads see us through to the conclusion as the last of the hopping higher frequencies peel off.
A sense of anxiety sets in as Abounded begins, the deep rumbling sound (placated only by random jumps into higher tones) has a feeling of extremely fast motion. As if the lower notes are darkness, and the higher a brief glint of light from the window of an otherwise gloomy vessel. More sweeping pad sounds drag the direction of the track into higher ground. With no solid base from which to chart your interpretation, it can often feel like you are completely lost in a sea of unpredictable sound. Stuttered samples and fragments seem to constantly bloom from all around.
Paperhanging brings a deviation into complete dissonance as the sounds begin to morph in a way that disregards classic melodic patterns. Its as if rain thunders down on top of a midi keyboard as sound rumbles and jumps completely randomly. As has become the form so far, Mukqs uses this as a starting point and begins to build on top. A twinkling keyboard dances, clinging onto the ever-moving sound as it plummets to unseen depths and back up again. The track becomes more robotic and inhuman. Before it was as if we were hearing an field bloom into life, now we hear an infinite sector of machines screeching and bleeping. It becomes more frantic, as sounds are compressed to a minute size and flicked through in a matter of split seconds.
Plum Monsoon brings the breaking down and dismantling of the machine from the previous track. It bursts to life one or two more times but fades slowly to the back, as the foreground fills with a dissonant sludge of noise. We move forward, one of the first definitive changes in sound and feeling comes as Mukqs lays a muffled piano atop the sound of a cold uncompromising wind. A flurry of muddled notes play out, captured every so often by a swathe of glitches.
Decorate a Net Together closes the EP as cold piano trills begin to play out above everything. The sporadic corruption of samples worsens as every little sound is picked up and thrown at a wall, shattering it into copies of its former self. Mukqs brings Anaglyph to a shuddering climax with this track, the amorphous form that the EP took coming to rest against a bed of harsh low-frequency sounds. The melodic pads disappear leaving an endless collection of pristine pips of noise to pirouette gracefully before they are slammed down in pitch and fade out.
Anaglyph may have 5 tracks, but the EP is one whole made up of a series of sonic movements. At no real point does Mukqs drag the listener somewhere completely unpredictable, rather the sound throughout is sporadic and unstable, following a beautiful gliding pathway all the way to the end. Within this EP is an incredible journey through indecipherable sound and hopelessly complex manipulation. The artist plays with our perception of the stereo field incredibly well and the listener is rewarded with an EP that bucks and pulls wildly, but that sounds like no other.
Purchase/listen in full here: https://mukqs.bandcamp.com/album/anaglyph