By: Lewis Dransfield
Just two years into the world of music production, 25-year-old Detroit-based Erik Zeldes has announced that he is bringing a fully-fledged EP to the table under his Mynah moniker. Aptly named, Living inFormation synonymizes the rampant consumerism and social alienation of today’s society. Sonically, this psy-dub body of work aligns itself with its fitting title and explores digital sonic capabilities to convey its message.
A piece that wouldn’t be out of place in a dystopian film score, opening track “Inner Space” fades in to set the scene. The listener is quickly immersed into a flood of electroacoustic composition and abstract soundscapes, but is simultaneously kept afloat through the use of a clean, tight drum rhythm and a deep, squelchy bassline. Giving the track life is a range of convincingly organic quirks through a clear attention to detail on Mynah’s part. This results in a well-rounded opener to what seems to be a promising EP from the newcomer.
Defined as ‘a divine spirit supposed to pervade the universe and to encompass all human souls, “Oversoul” appropriately takes the listener to an even deeper level. The powerful use of crescendos and long releases give the piece a strong sense of depth that isn’t too dissimilar to the opening track. With this in mind, the theme of this EP may appear to be clear at this stage; however, the latter half of this track seamlessly takes an emotional turn, edging away from gloomy darkness and into the light. The piano leads the listener out of the dystopian wasteland and offers a glimmer of hope, providing a dichotomy between the disturbed and the tranquil.
Successfully steered away from the darkness, “Gravity Waves” provides the listener with a much-needed dose of melancholia, evoking curiosity and urging exploration. Psychedelia springs to mind due to the bouncy acid-esque bassline and seemingly improvised lead melodies. Though, it isn’t long until the track progresses back into obscurity, led by a welcomed change of pace into a four-to-the-floor rhythm. This track is the biggest journey of the EP and is a palate cleanser among a collection of relatively dark material.
The dub influence rumbles through as this body of work comes to a close with “Activation”. Unsurprisingly, Mynah is influenced by the likes of Androcell and Ott, and this progressive end to his debut EP certainly pulls out all the stops to communicate an undying love for downtempo, psy-dub music.
Living inFormation may not be the most groundbreaking release of 2016 or a staple of electronic music culture for years to come. Undoubtedly, as a body of work it is not for those unfamiliar with peculiar, underground music. You may only hear such psychedelic vibes at 4am in Room 3, shoulder to shoulder with veteran rave-goers, or perhaps at that stage you came across at Glastonbury but couldn’t for the life of you remember where it was. With that said, it’s worth highlighting the early milestones of an artist as they run their work up a flagpole to see who salutes. Take it for what it is. It’s your call.
One thing that Mynah has graciously achieved is the strenuous task of implementing consistency into his work. From the sonic characteristics all the way to the artwork designed by Oliver Locke, Living inFormation is in concordance with Mynah’s love of the deeper realms of artistic expression. There’s a certain appeal to this musical aesthetic, and it certainly fits in with what Transcendent Tunes stands for. It’s kaleidoscopic, entrancing, and for these reasons, allow me to reiterate the following: take this release for what it is; you might just enjoy it.
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