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This week Italian trio Mahùt have made their new EP 'We Never Look Up' available for free, and you're quids in (yeah yeah, it's just a turn of phrase) if ambient dreampop or post-rock are your thing, as there are some quite immense and spectacular sounds being made here. First up is 'My Dream In Your Drawer', a song I fell into the trap of thinking would simply be some atmospheric guitars and little else. Yet this track rises and falls and builds until the guitar is sky-high and the crashing drums are elevating it even further. Sound like post-rock typified? Well maybe it is in style, but the quality is a cut above. 'May Revolution' is quite beautiful as well, but aside from the ending is a more mellow, piano-led affair and so may be the reserve of post-rock/ambient fans alone. If you don't happen to be a follower of the genre then it may not grab you. 'The Stars Are Holes In The Sky' possibly falls into the same category, but despite the lack of fireworks it still sounds somehow celestial as it climbs towards those very stars.
If this is all beginning to sound somewhat clichéd, well, that's probably because it is. These songs have all the ingredients you'll find in any recipe book for music of this style, and the sounds they create fit too. But like a recipe for food, in one person's hands you'll be left with an inedible mess, and another person will serve you something delicious. And it's often said that the Italians are good cooks... they're proving that dodgy metaphor in a musical way on this EP. The dual guitars of 'Thanks John' gently chime away before someone applies a layer off fuzz and some strings to put the icing on the cake. It's the title-track that completes the EP, and it's essentially more of the same, a fact that matters little when the quality stays high. So the whistling slow-build eventually gets joined by ringing, reverberating guitars, almost as though everything is in slow motion, but this adds to the beauty, not detracts. Piano and percussion that begins like a heartbeat but switches to a sharper sound is all neatly layered on top along with twinkles, and then smothered by fuzz. After a pause, the build begins again with more urgency and a towering ending ensues. Yeah, you know what's going to happen, but that doesn't stop Mahùt from bringing some quality to the format.
Free download: 'We Never Look Up' EP
Stream the EP in full
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