steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Moglass

"Sparrow Juice" CD


Genres: experimental electronic, improvised

November 2006

The Ukraine's Moglass are one of my favourite experimental electronic acts (ever since I encountered their Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows album a long time ago), and Sparrow Juice makes no attempts to counteract that opinion.

This isn't your typical experimental electronic act though, as these improvisers tend to use many more live instruments than many of their peers on the scene. Computers, synths, and field recordings make appearances but don't overbear more organic sounds coming from guitars, bass, saxophone, and even voice. The result is an epic, atmospheric-but-listenable record that feels right at home playing into a pitch black room. There is a foreboding, eerie sense exuded by Sparrow Juice, with lots of reverb lending the sounds a distant, almost cathedral-like openness. I kind of see a slight post-rock flare in the more cohesive and song-like offerings on this disc, though the more structured nature of that genre should not be confused with this predominantly abstract release.

The album, though consistently soundscape-based, varies from the ambient drone of "Revisited With K." and "Krevptok Legkiy Riad" (which both use synths and static-like noise) to more guitar-infused, post-rock semi-melodic material like "Maya Britanova" and "Indirect News". Meanwhile, eleven minute freeform improv work "Leering Raspberries" lays on the acoustic guitar plucking heavily, with sifting bleeps and electro bubbles steaming in the background. The record closes off with "Asumuth Vibrating," which is a powerful, Fennesz-esque finale that seems to whisk by in a startlingly beautiful haze. Clearly, Sparrow Juice is not a record that deserves to be panned or glanced over. I suggest you buy this, turn out the lights, and let it play. That way, there's no way you can ignore what truly amounts to a wonderful experimental soundscape album.

mp3s (from revisited with k, leering raspberries


Fun Fact:

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: distributed by the label, released 2006]