Boomkat Product Review:
mari maurice's latest solo set is an extended, inward-looking love song made from glistening fragments of dub techno, desert blues, experimental field recording, post-Kanye hyperpop, glitch and DIY house. Gorgeous narrative ambience for fans of Space Afrika, Perila, Lucrecia Dalt or Lea Bertucci.
There's a hesitance to 'oneiric' that harnesses the same nervous energy as an orchestra tuning, appearing from near silence with melodic elements nervously poking through environmental recordings that sound diaristic and sensual. Faint whispers and fleshy crackles rub against piano flourishes, vocal phrases tangle around Gavin Bryars-esque strings, and burned electronics carve into ornate rave orchestrals. Soon, a track that initially felt as minimal and fragile as a sleepwalking ant erupts into symphonic, distorted bliss, like My Bloody Valentine reimagined in perfect miniature.
maurice punctuates 'the neighborhood' with a kickdrum, manipulating expectations to drive a track that sounds like dub techno reduced to a single-digit BPM. Fuelled by a country-fried electric guitar and maurice's barely audible voice, it conducts like a whisper in the ear of a lover - part kiss and part pillow talk. claire rousay appears on 'heartbreaker', ducking from hypercolor synth flourishes and field recordings into a 4/4 so blurred you might not even notice it until you focus yr attention. Lucy Liyou provides vocals on 'heartbreaker', wailing softly into midnight drone and foley shuffles, creating a perfect crescendo without breaking a sweat.
It's the final track 'crii' that's the most surprising though; a rubbery minimal deep house groover that slowly builds into near-pop with percussive glitches and an Autotuned vocal turn from maurice herself. As diaristic and genre-blurring as Space Afrika's 'Honest Labour' and as sensual and unexpected as Perila or Lucrecia Dalt - it's a bit special this one.