Boomkat Product Review:
Mem1 is a collaboration between laptop sound-designer M. Cera and cellist Lisa Thomas-Merino, so as you can imagine the collision of digital manipulation and expertly played cello is incredibly haunting and at times devastatingly beautiful. To my mind the mixture of sounds reminds me almost of Kim Cascone's shockingly good Bluecube trilogy (if you haven't heard these records before you should really seek them out by the way!) crossed with Greg Haines' cello-driven 'Slumber Tides' - there is an ear towards minimalism and sound-design at all times, but the cello parts lift it out of the grey academic world into something far more accessible and definitely more enjoyable. In this it feels like the perfect step forward from the minimal sounds we all fell in love with a few years ago (and for the most part lost interest in), like Alva.Noto's recent 'Xerrox Vol.1' 'Alexipharmaca' brings in sounds that we can really relate to, really sink in to and sets them against the glitches, scratches and bleeps to create music that really is the sum of it's parts. This album is a soundtrack to a midnight forest expedition, something scientific yet moonlit and deeply mysterious - hardly surprising that the album is balancing on a scientific theme then. A concept of sorts, the title and ideas on the record come from the Greek pharmacologist Nicander of Colophon and the album's title is taken from a set of poems which deal in depth with animal and plant poisons and their antidotes. Pretty heavy subject matter - but it is without a doubt in line with the incredibly detailed and at times magnified scientific sounds on offer throughout the record. If you're in search of an album to sit snug in your growing collection of acoustic doom (maybe next to this week's similarly spooky album from Elegi...) then look no further, Mem1 will take you where you need to go - deep, deep into the dark woods. Huge recommendation.