Review: mockART – views | interrupted (self-released, Sep 2)

Though much more of a concise, focused work than its sprawling predecessor Men Who Lost Their Heads (reviewed here last November), the new full-length from nebulous Frankfurt project mockART is every bit as unpredictable and thoroughly strange. The cynical late-capitalist imagery continues with the cover of views | interrupted, a color-saturated photomontage depicting a dreamlike, oversimplified, pop-filtered image of the apocalypse; and though there’s no magical window to greener pastures in real life, something akin to that saccharine optimism shows up in the music as well, a kind of liveliness that’s sickly and broken at its core. This first shows up in the form of the classically minded flute phrasings that comprise much of th first three tracks, bleeding out in the shadows of some unknown cavernous space where machines whir and electronics hum. The last of this opening triad, “White Window,” shifts more attention to warm, wet synth transmissions, denser but by no means happier, ringing out major-key intervals rendered as a somber lament. It’s also a great example of the central logic that structures views | interrupted, a (paradoxical) penchant for conventional harmony and subversive detours both textural and tonal. “Parklife” might be the standout, bringing together everything previously introduced with space-distorting field recordings of footsteps, forest fare, and absent-minded percussion fiddling. The way these disparate elements form soundscapes that actually make sense needs to be heard to be believed. And in fact, beneath the layers and façades of bright-eyed synthetic sheen, there’s a current of genuine hope to be found. I hope.

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