A yoga drug trip
For Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, even an abstract musician have easier to grasp albums than others. This is my word of warning initially going into her new release ‘The Mosaic of Transformation’. Not one song has a normal structure and often its lacking a pulling melody too. What this album is for me, is an expression of grace and beauty.
The whole collection of modular synths play like an extended yoga retreat, only this retreat takes place in the night sky. Even the titles of the songs follow this train of though. ‘Understating Body Messages’ is a short celestial morse code bleep fest. ‘The Steady Heart’ has a Bjork-like spasm in its melodies that remind me of Vespertine. You won’t get a riff that spells anything out to you – you’ll have layers of instruments and voices that all guide you towards a state of mind and presence.
That may sound a bit vague and airy but the album is drenched with new-age glides. The vocals blissfully and slowly meander like a disembodied entity. They echo in and out like a higher spirit. On ‘Remembering’ they feel like you’ve earned the message from an elder. On the flipside ‘The Spine Is Quiet In the Center’ pushes vocals to the outer edges of the sound so you can barely hear them. Instead, the track focuses on crystalline pristine glassy clarity. This album is definitely the element of air as all the synths have a Mellotron quiver to them. Whilst there is plenty of bass to be found, they are more in bubbling swirls than constant plains underscoring the light being at work such as the beautiful ‘Carrying Gravity’.
It is worth pointing out three of the nine tracks are short transition pieces but that is forgiven when you discover the ten-minute finale ‘Expanding Electricity’. This is the culmination of all Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith wanted you to feel and experience. It flicks from synth strings to chortling organs to vocal choirs to spacious synth pads and tuned percussion gliding around you. It refuses to sit still and feels so cinematic and cathartic – and that’s before the brass and epileptic arpeggios kick in! It is worth the entry of admission alone.
That being said, unless you are really in the zone for some new-age blissouts – this is not where I’d recommend experiencing Kaitlyn’s work if you are a newbie. She is quite unlike anyone else out there and perhaps her previous album ‘The Kid’ is an easier place to dive in. That being said, this is a gorgeous album full of life and wonder. This will be an album I’ll be diving back into with headphones time and time again to calm myself down and wash the world away. Stunning.
Recommended track: Expanding Electricity
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