Tuesday 15 March 2016

Mugstar - Magnetic Seasons

Article by Del Chaney

Liverpool-based sonic manipulators Mugstar released their latest double album entitled 'Magnetic Seasons' back on March 3rd 2016 via Rock Action Records. They collectively create a sound that skips through atmospheric psych-rock with ease but has musical leanings reminiscent at times of the brilliant Mogwai. The album is available to purchase right now via the Rock Action Records website.
Opening with the hypnotic, almost hymnal 'Unearth', Mugstar leads the listener into a maelstrom of explosively-textured psychedelic waves before peeling off into a dark, creeping expanse of sound that's full of swirling vocal swells and addictive guitar progressions. Track two, 'Flemish Weave', the album's first single, is simply beautiful. Impressive guitar structures wash over you as they meld into the entire soundscape before the track unleashes its full sonic might. A pounding but intensely repetitive drum pattern buffers those charging guitars and throbbing bass line as the collective trance-like instrumentation takes hold. Absolutely stunning.

Up next, 'Time Machine' jangles and shakes on a foundation of impressive drum sequences as the guitar tracks build into a stunning cacophony of beautiful noise. 'Remember The Breathing' drones on its sonic axis as the track begins to unfold and show its inner demon. Then the pace quickens and we're treated to something truly addictive. Track five, 'La Vallee', is steeped in atmospheric dub sounds as it menacingly crawls on a shuffling drum pattern before its the guitar lines completely take over and empower us with warbling wah-wah. 'Magnetic Seasons' opens with a swirling synth drone before those impressive golden-hued guitars and synth progressions take over, riding that intoxicating drum pattern as the track meanders through peaks and troughs of mesmerising eastern sounding vibes.

'Regency Blues' glitches, bleeps and squeals as it enters the sonic ether before its addictive bass frequencies, affected drum hits and then the hypnotically-charged guitar lines build into something otherworldly. Up next, 'Sky West And Crooked' announces its arrival on a wave of subtle piano hits and whooshing samples as its shuffling drum pattern takes off like a small boat pushing away from a jetty, and floats peacefully on a still lake of beautiful golden sound. The atmospheric guitars weave their way through the sound sphere, circling the entire track as they intertwine with the sublime rippling production.

The album's closing track comes in at a whopping seventeen-minutes-plus and is in itself a journey of psychedelic discovery. Opening with cinematic leanings, 'Ascension Edge' breathes an impressive atmospheric hue from its very first hypnotic notes. It builds and builds as it snakes its way through its sonic gears, culminating in guitar swells and glitches. A thoroughly enjoyable end to a brilliant album... Bravo!

Mugstar's website

Buy: 'Magnetic Seasons'

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