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Ephemeral Mists – “Illusions Blooming Softly” Review

Tantric electronica hedonism

Ephermeral Mists are a wonderful band I’ve stumbled across via Bandcamp’s “someone bought” feature and their blend of old instruments, interesting vocal displays and a bit of new age electronica pushes the usual World music brand into more fresher arenas. I for one, have became a fan.

Ephemeral Mists
Ephemeral Mists

The title track opens the album with a pulsing bass line, thick drums and an operatic female vocal flexing her voice to maximum effect. To back her up is a full on string arrangement and lots of Eastern plucked instruments, woodwind and percussion. One minute its a sitar, then its a whole tubular bell ensemble. The mix of instruments is astounding and the fact it never feels too much is testament to the mixing and song writing. “Desert Flower” is more electronic than its predecessor and darker in chord structure and tone. There’s a warping childlike vocal that fades in and out over the bleeps of keyboards that gives an alluring yet deadly vibe. “Sacred Geometries” then pulls more Indian and Bjorkesque with its glitching marching drums and Indian instrumentation over the heavy bass line. This is the more majestic of the tracks as it takes it’s beat slow and steady whilst instruments have a beautiful unfolding melody that starts off slow at the beginning of a bar and then furls off at the end. It makes everything feel fluid and dreamy.

“As her stolen glow waned” continues the trend down the grubbier and more grittier road with some great synth melodies hidden and woven between all the woodwind and echoing male vocals. It’s like chill out has gone a bit… sadistic. Some great string bending in this track too. This paves the way for “Clouds Dissolving” which is as close to a raja as you’ll get on the album with a singular note bleeding throughout the track as other Eastern instruments trickle and lament over the top. It’s a mesmerising mood piece that feels much larger than the scope of the speakers. It’s like opening your eyes for the first time. The closing track is “Mechanical Suns” which if anything is the most poppy of the lot. Electronic beats and synths lead the way before the other instruments join in over its simple three chord pattern. Quickly you can barely hear those three chords as everything else takes over in a mesh of beautiful sound.

Rarely have I enjoyed a new age crossover piece as much as this EP. Ephemeral Mists have created an absolute masterpiece and anyone whom enjoys chillout or world music but likes things a bit more dark, this is absolutely for you. Sublime.

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