Mysteries’ latest from Melbourne-based producer Mosam Howieson falls somewhere between realms — percussive, deep techno and airy ambient — eventually landing in a liminal, stunning, undefinable space. From the wispy, tentacled opener “Explorations” to the IDM-leaning stunner “Cerebro,” Howison’s Aphelion is an intentional experiment in world building, and the world he’s built is a landscape brimming with a potent confluence of retro-futurist sounds, genres, and textures.
Aphelion refers to the point at which a planet is furthest from the sun. Despite the inherent darkness in this concept and its release coming in the wake of a turbulent year, Howieson assures us that he’s far from cynical: in fact, he says the album is “about coming back to the light.” Whether it's the acidic arpeggiation, airy pads, or intricately woven percussion that gets us there, Aphelion is emotionally transportive. In certain tracks, 80’s-influenced synth melody provides the teeth — the LP is not overly percussive, nor is it strictly ambient. Tracks like the IDM-tinged “Cerebro” showcase Howieson’s take on ethereal, breakbeat-influenced techno: airtight percussion and well-placed acid make this a standout. Howieson’s more rhythmic cuts are balanced by beat-less ones; “Low Orbit,” for example, is a dense cloud of a track, sweeping like ominous fog over a valley. But it isn’t long before we’re back above the clouds again with “Dream Sequence” and the title track, whose taut synth melodies and minimal, reverb-soaked percussion give power and depth to the overarching vision of the LP. In listening, there’s a sense of the ground moving beneath one’s feet — and despite Howieson’s skilled, masterful production, the listening experience of Aphelion is undoubtedly about surrender, not control. The soundscape it produces is both fresh and classic, or in another word, elegant.
To my parents and friends who support me in countless ways, and to Rich for being my overseeing musical mentor.
Written, Produced, and Mixed by Mosam Howieson
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio, NY
Design by Gabriel Benzur
Video Direction by Candace Price
Words by Taylor Bratches
Worldwide Distribution: wordandsound → what people play
© Mysteries of the Deep