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music review:: mushroom’s patience:: water

there probably aren’t a lot of die hard mushroom’s patience fans in the world, but they’re one of those groups who, like novy svet (whose members have been part of novy svet since 2001), once heard, become endeared. it’s hard not to love a group of people who are so effortlessly eccentric, so original.

while intensely likeable, i have always found that their albums are inconsistent, mixing stunning atmospheric tracks with pieces that sound too much like studio outtakes. water, however, is a substantial step forward. the killer bits are present in force and the filler is all but banished. finally, this band seems to have brought an entire release up to the quality of their best tracks.

water is an appropriate name for this album. the sound in it undulates and flows, and seems strangely distorted at times, like sounds heard through an ocean. there is a suppleness and fluidity to the sound that captivates the listener immediately. at the same time, the music here is not natural, nor entirely serene. the music is undeniably human, in many ways. the vocals are emotive and often touching (a remarkable feat for a band singing in a language that is not native to them).

the music itself is largely constructed on repetitive loops, accented with changing elements, so that it emulates the undulations of waves on the shore. the effect is hypnotic, with the vocals often seeming to come out of nowhere. almost every track will seductively winnow its way into your consciousness and, most likely, into the soundtrack of your dreams- the one atmosphere where i believe it would seem totally at home.

water is, in fact, a bugger to review, because it is almsot entirely self-referential. novy svet with more of a jazz influence? the mediterranean progeny of music to play in the dark-era coil? this is a release that defies easy description.

which just makes it that much more enchanting.

available through many distributors in north america, including soleilmoon, strange furtune and, of course, malignant. released on hau ruck!, but, due to the fact that mp are now “gone away from hau ruck” (their terminology), unmentioned on the hau ruck site.

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