05 September 2007


With icy blasts of condensation, Context. Where? has been charging across the stereo field of my hifi for tha past few days. Michael Walton has been here before under his mwvm moniker, drawing long glissando drones from his customized guitar-based effects set-up. Last year's debut self-titled EP opened a door to a more interesting breed of guitar instrumental. Taking his lead from luminaries such as Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride (both collectively and individually), Walton runs with these ideas and electrifies them. This particular track has been available on the mwvm myspace page for a little bit, but released from the myspace player it has been buffed and polished until it shines.

Too often, so-called drone ambient artists ignore the grand romantic sweep in favor of micro-dynamics, the random scratch of a radio dial, the bluster of white noise feedback, but Walton steers a refreshingly different course whereby distinct guitar resonances are built, layer upon layer, frequency band upon frequency band creating distinct and delicate melodies. Never once relying to cliché (of course completely unlike this reviewer), his first full-length release, Rotations, is set for release on September 25th by Silber Records.

This is music to be listened to and, as such, to categorize this as ambient is dangerous. This album cannot be ignored and therefore immediately breaks Eno's first law of ambient. Nevertheless, it drifts with intent, at first lulling the listener then pummeling them with sound. There have always been albums that have incited listeners to play them loud. Here we have one that really does need it. To listen to it quietly removes its sheer physicality.

Rather than the occasionally polite but floating drone of William Basinski, mwvm slams into the target. You don't float with Rotations, you drown in it, twisting and writhing. The immediacy of each melodic and harmonic theme enveloping the listener within each track and the album as a whole.

mwvm - Context. Where? MP3 from Rotations (Silber Records, 2007)

Edit: The album is available from here and here.


D!M said...

sick review echo...

nice tune too, I'll this guy. I'm going to buy his album - by the way where can I buy this album..

echo said...

I can't really do another review of young mwvm, especially one that is a remix album of Rotations and one to which a "re-imagining" of mine is part of, but hey, whatever ...

mwvm - Rotations Remixed

Silber Records have released a collection of remixes and reworkings from some
close friends. The remixes include a shimmering mass of complex jarring textures
by the mighty Astral Social Club, pulsing layers of precision amplitude modulation
from Sonicslice, and Zac Keiller doing an alt-country cover version of context.

Track Listing:
1. rotations remix by Astral Social Club (www.myspace.com/astral_social_club)
2. celestial motion remix by Sonicslice (www.sonicslice.org)
3. negative pole remix by Scott Solter (www.scottsolter.com)
4. windows remix by Moral Crayfish (www.moralcrayfish.com)
5. context. where? cover by Zac Keiller (www.myspace.com/zackeiller)
6. celestial motion horizontal remix by echosonic (www.last.fm/music/echosonic)