Listening Mirror - What’s Wrong With Miracles
Music is complex and diverse, created by both humans and animals it once served the function to communicate warnings of emerging predators, to bind communities together through the production of sound and to express emotion. Over the last 100 years however, music has undergone a significant shift in trajectory. What was once an intimate and often spiritual practice has now given to an entity that can be marketed and sold. The spread of globalization has aided in this transformation - for the better many people have access to music from far away lands - but for the worst most individuals have lost the drive to discover and experience new sounds, opting to remain stuck in an eternal musical bubble.
So, why are there artists out there creating music that is dense and difficult to listen to? There are two reasons, one, there are artists unsatisfied with being pinned down to a single formulaic structure, and two, there are indeed people out there seeking the next piece of music that touches them for the very first time.
Listening Mirror’s release on the micro label Twice Removed out of Perth, Australia is the antithesis to the pursuit of formulaic music. It is anything but. What’s Wrong With Miracles is a brutally challenging listen, even for someone who has experienced the darkest of dark ambient music. At an hour long spread over three tracks the album presents a sludgy, heavy, dense and weighty mix of often times cinematic crushes. Steam Train slowly drags itself along the ground for a tense 20 minutes as it builds to the final leg by letting out bellows of harsh, crushing, reverberated swells of noise interspersed with metallic echoes and subtle field recordings.
It’s in the Trees follows and while less ominous sounding than it’s opener it carries just as heavy a weight - it is akin to falling into a deep depression, a winding deep drone flows with piano hiding in the mist, joined by a plodding groundswell of bass that grows and grows. If the previous two tracks reminded you of deep sea exploration then the next one in my book takes you right out of this world and into space. An iridescent buzzing warbles as treated guitar is slowed down to a desolate crawl.
This record is dark and disturbing in such a beautiful way.The key to Listening Mirror’s game here is tension and release. Right through the record it is these two constructs that form the basis of this music, however messed up it may be.