Bartosz Dziadosz and Tomasz Mreñca are friends and artists from Poland. They started collaborating on musical projects including the multinational modern classical project The Frozen Vaults, which also includes Harry Towell (Spheruleus, Whitelabrecs), Yuri Murata and Dave Donhau. Mreñca’s violin work also appeared on Dziadosz’s release with Giulio Aldinucci (who reworks a track on this release) on their “The Prelude To” album (The Long Story Recording Company).
“Mirage” originally came out on fabled Belgium label Taâlem as a 3″ with a slightly longer version. This release sees the track taken over by Spheruleus, Giulio Aldinucci and Sven Laux alongside the remastered original.
“Each of these renowned composers were invited to portray the dark mysterious passages of “Mirage” in a different light, making for an album experience than a simple reissue with remixes. Spheruleus selected a looping section of the original strings in a brooding, dramatic piece steeped in tape decay, Sven Laux has focused more on the timbral quality of the strings whereas Giulio Aldinucci sculpts the piece into a dramatic drone which reaches a subtly noise shrouded crescendo.“
“Mirage (Spheruleus Rework)” straight away Spheruleus takes us into a cavern of sound. Orchestral and dark ambient drones are twisting and turning with an echoic quality, like air that is billowing through a gap between mountains. Tribal like hand percussion, metal clangs and the turning of soil gives an organic feel to the track. The music has a full sound that feels like a swirling storm that has been cut up and manipulated. There are several sound sections that have rhythmic qualities, that are not constructed as beats, but are used to propel the piece forward. There are many layers to the track that make it a dense piece that are not overly crystal clear, which inspires the listener to be more intent in their listening and to seek out meaning and nuances. The use of loops is relied upon in the track to continue the motifs contained, but they have been used in a way that makes them not wear out their welcome nor become predictable or boring.
“Mirage (Sven Laux Rework)” gritty granular sound and metallic screeching drones are joined by a fairly ominous bass tone that carries weight as it rumbles across. If Spheruleus had some dark ambient inclinations, Sven Laux heightens them for his rework. The music has a very cinematic feel in the suspense /horror genres which is best demonstrated in the middle of the piece when chaotic screeching vision and undetermined bangs and clangs sound like feverish metal cups being drawn back and forth across metal jail cell doors. This deeply unsettling section lasts for around two minutes and it keeps raising and heightening the tension before subtly bringing it back from the precipice. Laux has definitely gone to affect the human psyche with his particular reworking – disturbing and sonically brilliant.
“Mirage (Giulio Aldinucci Rework)” while a storm of sound heard on Aldinucci’s rework is not too dissimilar a theme with the previous two reworks, the actual sounds that are completely different. For the most part Aldinucci keeps a narrow field of sound relying on buzzing frequencies and electrical tones to create a totally different sounding track that has short fast broken parts of sound. There is an ominous undercurrent which kicks off the track with a similar sound as the predecessors, but from that point Aldinucci takes the listener down a sonicly soaked street that feels like the sound is tightly compacted and little by little it escapes. There feels like a kaleidoscope of sound that is always rushing around and careering into each other, with an array of colours and tones rippling about.
“Mirage” it is quite ingenious to have the original track placed at the end of the collection as you don’t spend the whole time listening to the reworks and then mentally comparing them to the original. You judge each track on their individual merits. Straight off you can detect sections off sound that were used as inspiration in the reworks. Noticed more in the original piece is Mreñca’s violin which adds a different color to the electronics. Musically the original is sonically cleaner than the reworks and more varied sound in relation to the tones of the sounds included. It is by no stretch off the imagination a slice of melodic, peaceful ambient – it still has that feeling of dread hanging around, but there are sections that feel like a little light has been exposed. As the track follows its journey, the violin becomes more frantic with its fast cutting screeching sound and the drones get progressively louder further pushing the piece along and outwards. The sound expands and a low rumble that has been around for a while grows more menacing without going over the top. The track pushes the edge, but manages to never go over it.
A mirage is defined as an optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions. Just what the mirage in the original track in question is I am not sure, but I suspect it to be horrific and haunting. The reworks on this collection (especially Spheruleus and Laux’s) work because they harness certain components of the original and configure them in a way that follows the lineage and also lets them stand alone as individual compositions in their own right. In fact if I were to be bold or controversial, they outshine the original as they perform as well executed reworks that distill the essence of the original, focus on parts and take them on new journeys in sound.