Nickolas Mohanna :: Parallax View (Low Point)

Filled with even more densely layered electronics, ambient drone, and fractal samples. A rich and tightly focused experiment in modular analogue synths, ambient drone and complex, sometimes jarring, always intriguing textures.

With Parallax View, the Brooklyn-based musician and artist Nickolas Mohanna has produced a deeply textured and complexly layered fusion of sounds and samples.

Building on the modular analogue of his first LP release, Transmission Hue, this new release is filled with even more densely layered electronics, ambient drone, and fractal samples. As before, he doesn’t linger on pessimistic or darker notes, but attempts to weave the faster tempo of his synths and ambience toward a more focused, albeit sometimes disorienting, sound.

“Autopsy (Midnight Reader)” is surprising with its jerky rhythms and its symphonic sampling which is over-layered with crackling and disturbed electronics. It is a track that has a funereal procession to it, but also an edgy and modern momentum by which to offset it. As its name implies, “Cascade” tells a story, describing a movement. It progresses from a tightly repeating skipping synth toward a loser, eroding instrumental, its jarring giving way to an emergent harmony and warmth. It is the same impression with “Installation,” whose title is linked to the shade and shape of the track itself ; a clutter of seemingly environmental, clattering noises which draw tightly around a rising, lilting drone of strings—suggesting how a wholeness and sense can emergence from incoherence, if only you listen close enough. “A room with light curtains” has a sheer, buzzing drone, which produces—with its slow, eroding synth loops—a science fiction of sound and pattern, emphasising the LP’s modular roots but also its modernisms and experimentation. It closes with a fading synth and a rising clatter of percussion, and then silence.

As a whole, Mohanna’s album is a rich and tightly focused experiment in modular analogue synths, ambient drone and complex, sometimes jarring, always intriguing textures. Listening closely, you can sense how these sounds and modulations share in a focus around a central point—around the emergence of coherence from incoherence. It has a sinewy strength and even a threat of collapsing apart into its constituent sounds. Happily, this never happens—it has a pull which holds its pieces together.

Parallax View is available on Low Point.

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