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Mnemonists - Horde (RéR: Glass)

"Intricately-structured chaos" is the best way to describe this disc - loud, crashing waves of static fall into sax and percussion jams, while '60's coffee house-esque free jazz explodes into booming thunderclaps of electronic noise punctuated by ethereal moans of both natural and electronic equipment. The "songs" from Track 1 to Track 5 flow seamlessly into one another and seem to all actually belong in the same song, while the second half of the disc, Track 6 to Track 10, come across as the second "song," with the first part very dark and noisy and chaotic and the second part much more subdued. Really, the only way to tell you've moved onto a new piece is to look at the track reader on your CD player. This would be a great soundtrack for the end of the world, although I'd prefer to see a movie of that to actually sitting through the real thing.
Personally, I prefer the first half of this disc, the "dark and noisy" section. The juxtaposing of the guitar/sax/clarinet/cello/piano/viola/recorder ensemble with the screeching sounds of what sounds like a record played backwards at high speed and something large and metal being beaten to death is just amazing, and borders on causing sensory overload when played at high volumes. It is all so close to being just a mess of noise, but never actually falls apart. The second half of the disc relies as much on silence and low registers as the first relies on cacophony and volume. Seconds pass without any noise at all coming from some of these tracks, leading one to believe that the song is over, only to find that it isn't - the silence is the song. Perhaps that reasoning is just a little too subtle for me.

by Holly Day.