Exposé Online banner

Mystified — Yenisei Crossing
(Spotted Peccary SPM 3402, 2020, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-08-27

Yenisei Crossing Cover art

Mid-December 1999. I took a job as the desktop support guy at a defense contractor that made microwave RF components, and of course since nobody had held that position for a number of months, my first task was to make sure that every computer on four different manufacturing floors was Y2K compliant, and of course because they were paranoid defense contractors, none of those computers were networked, which meant I had to go to all of them one-by-one and manually verify their compliance. A lot of long nights out on the production floor with a lot of machines and absolutely no people around, except me. I recall sitting in an office chair and leaning back and just listening to all of the production machines going at it for minutes on end, all asynchronous and operating at different speeds. Some would cycle several times every second, others went much slower, even out to a minute or two, hundreds of production machines all chattering away, occasionally finding synchronicity in their randomness. I’m not complaining; it was a paycheck and how else would I have this story to tell? But it leads nicely into the subject of the latest album by Mystified (aka Thomas Park), which contains seventeen tracks between two and five minutes in length, each one comprised of a number of soundloops of electronic sounds and samples all recurring at different speeds, seemingly oblivious to one another, just like those machines that populated the manufacturing floor. Most seem to have a primary loop running that is percussive in nature (though not a percussion instrument per se), with additional loops of sounds of all kinds running at different speeds, be they bells, odd noises, swirling synth elements, floating ambient bits and fragments of field recordings and so on, all reassembled by computer into these cyclic sonic vignettes. I’ve heard most of the Spotted Peccary releases going back to the late 80s, and Yenisei Crossing is like no other before it, that title referring to a river in Siberia, which apparently Park found this music reminiscent of. However each of the seventeen tracks has a title that could have only been created by computer, each bearing five characters and/or numbers, each hopelessly unpronounceable. Yet the soundloops herein are immediately likeable and interesting in many ways, and if one listens more closely, even more detail can be heard, though don’t try and figure out the sources of the sound, it’ll just drive you crazy. Best to just appreciate it at face value for what it is.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Mystified / Thomas Park

More info

Latest news

Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Alejandro Lomelin - Luz de Intenso Azul – Luz is the instrumental solo project of keyboardist Alejandro Lomelin, of the Mexican band Caja De Pandora. For the most part this is a work of simpler repetitive piano figures and introspective...  (1998) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues