CD Review

Mystified – “Transient”

By Marcus Pan

TransientNew genre alert! There's ambient, experimental, minimalism in its many forms...but now I bring to your attention a new genre that I find named for the first time. And that is..."illbient." It's really one of the cooler genre names out there, if you ask me. And from the content of the word itself you can probable figure it out...I'm not a dictionary.

My first time coming across this word was in the press kit of Mystified. Accompanying their Transient release, Mystified claims to have their hands in everything electronic – including illbient. The man behind Mystified is none other than Thomas Park(1), who we've encountered in the past creating fractal soundage under the moniker of Autocad some time back. He's continued at it, doing everything from label releases to DJing, and his compilation credits are numerous and impressive.

Transient is a thirteen track full length from Mystified, quietly released on Latex Records. It's very similar to Park's older work as Autocad, random sensory input with subtle manipulations and, at the very least such as on Lang, a minimal guidance towards a movement of some type. It makes for interesting background sound, but with the dismal atmosphere it builds I wouldn't suggest it for, say, your average aroma therapy or massage parlor. It's liable to depress you with its "illbience." Park's music does have the power to manipulate.

Strangely, while somewhat minimal Transient still maintains a sense of self and somehow moves, though sometimes sluggishly. Silent Swing is made up of nothing more than background bubbles over which brightly tapping synthetic bells chime. Music Box is stronger in its make up, even including a scratchy rhythm of sorts, and while brightly colored still retains an "ill" feeling deep inside. It slows down, starting to drag, adding more and more to that feeling and by the time this very quick track ends paranoia has set in...regardless of the track's original light melodics. This sets us up for...

Sliptide drones in with very evil intentions it seems, with a deep dark void out of which the occasional flash of pulsing light tries to escape. For one sheer moment, Blessed Poor falls away a bit from the truly dismal, respite from the previous tracks of voidness as it brightens up the atmosphere a tad. Short lived as Leakage's background sounds like Thomas has tapped his finger down on the mix tape to garble and drag the background just a bit, creating a very strangely neurotic feeling.

From straight out of nowhere, the Sliptide Dub adds in a funky percussive rhythm to Transient and immediately dispels most of the foreboding built on the previous nine tracks. Funky illbient from out of the ether. Likewise the Leakage Dub takes the previous neurosis attempts similar, by adding a drum rhythm to it. Not nearly as successful as the Sliptide Dub.

I'm not sure if Thomas Parks and his Mystified outfit are attempting to wreak paranoia through the morose and foreboding sounds of their illbient music. But nonetheless the end result is one of near terror, tantalizing with neurosis and paranoid visions at the very edge of our mind's eye. I'm certainly glad I've managed to spin this CD and write this review while I'm not alone at my desk...other people I work with occasionally pass by and remind me that all is fine.

Contact Information:
Post: 5073 A Chippewa, St. Louis, MO, 63109, USA
(1) We interviewed Thomas back in Legends #110.