Musique Concréte influenced artist Mystified (aka Thomas Park) presents Morning City, a musically expressed sound collage inspired by the struggle and hope one can feel living in an American urban setting. The substance of this audio-montage is drawn from a large body of original field recordings that are spliced, mixed and merged with layered piano riffs and unique ambient bass lines, while ever-evolving mechanical drones paint a sonic backdrop for the bustling cityscape.
“These industrial environments are designed to render and convey the experience of living in a larger city at various times and various conditions,” states Mystified. “Morning City strives to evoke the urban environment both as mythic and real.” This creative approach to the more abstract sensibilities of ambient music sculpts noise and found sounds, so common in our daily routines, into form, structure and perspective, extracting space from the space already around us and unveiling a unifying theme that binds us to our modern view of reality.
Morning City is an album that fits squarely into the industrial ambient style. By skillfully blending and enhancing the machine-driven drones, accents and resonances of the evolving city-based soundscapes, Mystified creates a riveting listening experience where the rhythms of the city emerge, pulsing with life and artistic purpose.
People make their decisions every day-- the red pill or the blue? If you listen to music, is it glib and escapist, or are you interested in dwelling on some of the (admittedly less soothing) real atmospheres you might find in your workaday world? Do you tailor your mind to drift further and further from reality, or train it to prepare for the shock of its ugliness? "Morning City", out on Friday, often does the latter. I suppose it represents the "blue pill" of ambient.
Airport memories-- I was very young, and my Mother, Sister and I were flying from Saint Louis to Michigan to visit my Mom's Mother for Christmas. We missed a connecting flight at the O'Hare airport, and spent Christmas in Chicago. We attended a Christmas service in a small modern gathering room at the O'Hare Airport.
Here is another longform piece of urban atmospherics-- this one called "Terminal E". Its ongoing sounds of large weights moving, carts wheeling by, airplanes, other vehicles, is reminiscent of the airport. And this one goes out to travelers, trapped in space-- between destinations. To those leaving loved ones or heading their way. "Terminal E" is a testimony to your journey.
This Friday, "Morning City" comes out, on http://www.spottedpeccary.com . I am not sure if an ambient album has ever been written so particularly about Saint Louis. This may be the first. I have lived in this area most of my life-- from being a child in Webster Groves, to a teenager in the Parkway District. My more recent place to live has been the city, Tower Grove South, to be more specific. "Morning City" is more about Saint Louis' urban side, with all of its diversity, impressive architecture, commerce, and also poverty, struggle, homelessness, and addiction.
"Morning City" is new in that it tries to address an African American audience, where so little ambient does. It would be great if African American listeners could discover the sublime beauty of ambient music-- the genre awaits them with open arms. May "Morning City" help welcome new kinds of listeners to a particular genre of atmospheric music.