Apr 2014 13

MEND - Vanishing PointMEND
Category: Electronic / IDM / Ambient
Album: Vanishing Point
Stars: 4
Blurb: Serene, lush, cosmic, tense, and anxious are all words to describe the atmospheres evoked by the debut album from this impressive Chicago duo.


The duo of Kassi Cork and Max Glascott – collectively known as MEND – certainly knows how to make an entrance; after several sporadic track releases over the last three years, and the unfortunate theft of what was to be MEND’s 2011 release, Vanishing Point marks the band’s debut full-length album. “On the List” begins the album with a tense bass progression that along with the frenetic drum programming and rising harmonies makes for an anxious opening that only hints at what the album has to offer. “An Island” then enters with layers of ambient pads, a chiming melodic keyboard line that with the subdued beat makes for an IDM by way of trip-hop vibe that lulls the listener into a soothed state. That state is then interrupted as the tempo picks up to a head-bopping rhythm that would play the perfect soundtrack to dancing by moonlight in zero gravity. Throughout Vanishing Point is a wispy and cloudy atmosphere that evokes sensations akin to drifting in space, at once serene and pensive, hinting at the unforeseen wonders of infinity. The title track is perhaps the best example of this as a melancholy piano shimmers amid swells of hollow ambience, the anticipation and trepidation building as a guttural electronic bass gradually makes its appearance, though it never overtakes the track. Notable is the duality of “First Breath” with its tranquil belled tones resonating into the ether as a singing swelling sound akin to an e-bow guitar fades in and out, complemented by a thrumming rhythm on “Second Breath” as those same elements are given added tension and mystique. With its skittering jungle-like rhythms of IDM pops and clicks, “Chroma” is at once nervous and beautiful as the progression of arpeggio synths creates a veritable tone poem that will surely remind many of the early works of Autechre, while the cavernous percussive reverb, ululating effects, and the ascending harmonies of “You Know Me” add a dimension of steadily approaching menace, ending almost suddenly to grasp at the heartstrings. From Glascott’s sense of experimental noise to Cork’s classically inspired sense of structure and melody, the talent of this duo is undeniable, and Vanishing Point is the proof. The production is clean and spacious, allowing every sound ample room to flourish and breathe life into every corresponding element, never overwhelming the listener with anything other than a distinctive sense of mood and atmosphere to make the album a lushly cosmic experience.
Track list:

  1. On the List
  2. An Island
  3. Sparrow
  4. First Breath
  5. Vanishing Point
  6. Second Breath
  7. Chroma
  8. Edgar
  9. You Know Me
  10. Amphibians

MEND Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mendmusic
MEND Twitter http://twitter.com/mendsound
MEND Bandcamp http://mendmusic.bandcamp.com
AlphaBasic Records Website http://alphabasic.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
AlphaBasic Records
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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