Prospero, Agnostikon

prospero_agnoIn my book, you should only make statements about your work such as “…designed to scramble the interface between the mind and molecular matter to offer new views and points of multicolored perspective” if you can back it up. Well, if anyone can, it’s trippy groovemeister JC Mendizabal in his Prospero guise. Today’s lesson: the mind-bending sound-spaces and hijacked dub influences coming at you on Agnostikon. Designed, it would seem, with hypnosis in mind, this release relies heavily on echo and repetition, blended with underplayed but infectious rhythms to bring you to a pleasantly altered state of mind. Mendizabal pulls from what seems like an odd and deliciously random sound-set, dropping snipped voices and modem burbles into the mix to snuggle up to his microbeats and wavering chords. A track like “Evanescent Forms” feels like it’s constructed out of crystal, glimmering and delicate and composed of myriad facets catching and reflecting light, drawing you inexorably into it. “Metabolic Cycle” follows suit, with tiny, spinning droplets of sound spiraling off a backdrop that lopes slowly along. For your deepest dose of minimalist trance, look no further than “Wild Visitors of the World.” This swirl of manipulated vocal samples, tapping percussion and notes that ping-pong back and forth in your head create a fantastically chaotic mash that nicely pummels your brain into submission. It’s the intricacy of Mendizabal’s work that always fascinates me. It’s like a crazily orchestrated storm of detritus, cast-off pieces of this, that, and the other thing which he expertly herds and shapes into undeniably cool forms. The individual elements can be tiny, but they become a swarm, and that swarm just surrounds you. Rhythms become pulse, the noise is an atmosphere. In my mind’s eye it’s like a huge lattice of sound, with spaces for the listener to pass through to be more fully within it, to really look at all the things that are happening in a constant, shifting flow. That is, if you can focus on it while your conscious mind checks out. Another rich and weird work from Prospero. Treat your head to this tasty brain food.

Available from Black Note Music.

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