Mioclono - Cluster I Music Album Reviews

Mioclono - Cluster I Music Album Reviews
The debut album from the duo of John Talabot and fellow Barcelona producer Velmondo spins a shadowy, subterranean web.

Beneath John Talabot’s catalog runs a pipeline tunneling from euphoria to dread—from sunset reveries to midnight rituals. In just over a decade, the Catalan electronic musician (aka Oriol Riverola) has gone from being a serenader of beach parties to a paranormal medium presiding over death-disco seances. His early singles and 2012 debut album burst with sun-kissed vibes and supersaturated colors—Mediterranean house music’s answer to chillwave. Yet since then, virtually everything he has done—almost all of it collaborative—has run progressively toward the shadows. 

There was the darkly lustrous cosmic disco of Quentin, with Barcelona’s Marc Piñol, and the languorous Italo chug of Lost Scripts, with his old pal Pional. Under the fortuitous portmanteau Talaboman, with Swedish house miscreant Axel Boman, there were oily motorik escapades and ominous flashbacks to ’70s Berlin. Early in the pandemic, Riverola and his girlfriend hid out in the countryside with another couple and cooked up Drames Rurals, wringing chilly, claustrophobic funk out of cabin fever. Cluster I is the debut album from Mioclono, Riverola’s duo with Velmondo, aka Arnau Obiols, an associate of Riverola’s label Hivern Discs. It might be his most sumptuously eerie release yet. Across eight long tracks covering nearly an hour and 20 minutes, Mioclono go spelunking in a slow-motion underworld, wrapping haywire synths around lysergic drum circles.

Following an ominous spoken-word introduction—“You know, my wife has never seen blue sky in her entire life,” says a man who sounds like a drunk Mel Gibson—opening track “Blue Skies” introduces the elements that dominate the album. Loping congas and shakers establish a tentative rhythm; a bleepy arpeggio stretches across the track from end to end, like a clothesline hung with ragged electronic tones and fluttering drum fills. There are few melodies to be found anywhere, although tuned drums like the djembe and darbuka lend rich tonal resonance, and on “Myoclonic Sequences,” steady marimba patterns flood the song with color, like a Balearic take on new age. Mostly, though, Mioclono favor buzzing harmonies and grinding, ring-modulated timbres—rough, tactile textures that complement the innumerable layers of percussion in play.

Occasionally, Cluster I’s quivering oscillators and sour synth tones seem determined to unsettle: The atonal buzz and explosive drum fills of “Pell de Serp” are about as cuddly as an erupting termite mound. But the most satisfying tracks are immersive and enveloping. “Fog and Fire,” which evokes the occult rites of Craig Leon’s Nommos, probably doesn’t need to be 16 minutes long, yet Mioclono don’t waste a second of it, fleshing out their pitter-pat congas and metallic clang with air-raid sirens, dubby squalls, and a gravelly voiceover that brings to mind Vincent Price muttering spells over a bubbling cauldron. “Acid Rain” is the highlight, braiding multiple TB-303 lines over meditative hand percussion. In the fashion of Plastikman tracks like “Plastique,” it tips uneasily between slow and fast, balancing 4/4 plod with flickering 32nd-note fills, and spinning its acid melody into a stream of quicksilver beads. It’s mysterious, lithe, stealthy.

Given the music’s krautrock overtones, it’s tempting to assume that the title is a reference to Cluster, the astral-traveling ’70s duo of Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Certainly there is something of that group’s eerie frug in Riverola and Obiols’ seesawing oscillators and hypnotic pulses. But another association can be found in the duo’s name, which is the Spanish term for a rare type of epilepsy experienced by both musicians: Myoclonic seizures—sudden muscle spasms that may feel like a jolt of electricity, and can be accompanied by brief moments of unconsciousness—tend to come in clusters. As the duo notes in a text accompanying the album, epilepsy was historically believed to have mystical overtones. In this reading, Cluster I is an attempt to peel back the surface of the rational world and explore the unknown forces swirling just beyond science’s reach.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mioclono - Cluster I Music Album Reviews Mioclono - Cluster I Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on March 13, 2023 Rating: 5


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