Boomkat Product Review:
Bokeh Versions bursts out of the screen into four dimensions to present Mars89's immersive, uncompromising new EP.
'New Dawn' is Japanese dancefloor technician Mars89's headiest excursion to date - so much so that Bristol's Bokeh Versions have launched Bokeh.tech to present the record in a VR setting. The move is an attempt to bring back the immersive experience that listening used to allow with lavish gatefold vinyl filled with stories, artwork and info. Because "New Dawn" isn't a simple record, there aren't easily drinkable ADHD bangers that can be flipped through and forgotten - it's a grimy set of submerged beats and grotty soundscapes that rewards patient listeners.
Honestly it makes sense that the EP has been issued with a visual component, the set sounds like a continuous soundtrack to a doomed automated dystopia, painting a vivid virtual world. Opener 'Magnetic Ghosts' fires damaged subs thru cracking Space Echoes and haunted vocals before it disintegrates into disembodied screams and cursed foley on 'In the Shed'. It's like a mirror universe Demdike Stare, all ashen textures and the faintest traces of club formula left to smolder in punishing, warped doomscapes.
When beats do emerge - a grinding kick in 'Grotesque Reflections', acidic hats in 'Nocturnal Animals' and 'Body Collapse' - they're hollow signifiers of recognizable dance forms, like the dead remains of a world long left behind. Breaks emerge but are stripped of function completely, empty discarded husks to remind before rattling into the abyss. It's engrossing, expertly engineered stuff - somewhere between SVBKVLT's precise 4K club deconstructions and Space Afrika's noisy dubwise ambience. Big.