9/25/2020

MNZKRT — MNZKRT

                                                                                


This self-titled album is the debut release by a duo located in France and Latvia.  This Pan-European partnership deals in bleak, isolationist drones that are designed to fill the air and immerse the listener.  The five tracks comprising the LP have been constructed using synthesizer, field recordings and guitar.  They attempt to articulate an image of wide, empty spaces and the various resonances that reside within them.  The album certainly succeeds in doing so, the often oppressive soundscapes bringing to mind the type of vistas in a Tarkovsky film.

The album cover features a stark image of electrical power lines, reminding me of Alan Lamb’s explorations into capturing the sonic tendencies of massive pylons in the Australian landscape.  The sounds that MNZKRT conjure on their album certainly include these kind of sizzling electrical pulses, but there are other sounds that inhabit the same space here.  Ghostly voices, drenched in waves of radio static, occasionally materialize as if they’ve been beamed in from some lost Lovecraftian dimension.  A sense of freeform drift is evident in all these pieces, the music often floating a suspended animation.

Track titles read like geolocation indicators, planting their identities in the area the field recordings might have been sourced from.  Shining a light through the gloom, 3.51 2.81 90 manages to lift the listening experience into higher realms with a fantastic mid-range drone.  On the opposite end of the frequency spectrum, album closer 11.70 10.90 90 begins with untreated location recordings, upon which a speaker-rattling bass begins to rumble and pulsate until it engulfs the stereo spread. All five tracks work well as a cohesive whole, and MNZKRT have marked their presence with a focused album that achieves its goal of submerging the listener into deep ravines of resonant sound.


Author: Darren McClure