*Mirror*, by Russian artist Gemini Tri, is a collection of beautiful melancholic songs that explore the irrevocable separation of past from present, and the continued struggles of existence. Rather fortuitously, this landmark 50th release—eight years since our inception—harks back to our own past, delivering the kind of decayed loops, echoey arpeggios and heady atmospheres that came to define Archaic Horizon’s signature sound.
In his first outing as Gemini Tri, Denis Piryazev demonstrates his considerable talents by expertly navigating a number of subgenres to realise his vision. Ambient, dream pop, and electronic/acoustic pieces, crafted using guitar, bass, ukulele, synths, vocals, and samples, come together in beautiful melancholic harmony.
Beginning with “Silence of the Universe”, a folktronic mix of vocals, ukulele, and icy pads, Gemini Tri sets the tone for what’s to come: a lonesome, yet ultimately inviting, daydream that inspires us to dive down alongside it. The heart-wrenching title track, leaving little time for acclimatisation, tugs us much deeper, into the musings of a troubled soul; obscurity gradually overtakes objectivity as multiple vocal tracks meld into one and bury us in mysterious reflectance.
Other tracks, particularly “Childhood”, push a gentler, nostalgic vibe. Like a flashback, its composition employs comforting melodic bridges that move us from point to point, mood to mood, along a continuum in some beloved past time. Initially, an interplay of soft feminine voices tempt us into this recollective trance; we then bounce from eery processed samples that direct us, like the voices in our heads, to sung lyrics that bring more clarity to our thoughts.
*Mirror’s* surprise is its wide range of skillfully-arranged beats. Rarely begging for attention, they nonetheless build a stylish arbor around which the beautiful melodies and soundscapes flourish. “Sunset Generator”, a standout, pops and fizzes with its glitchy breaks and rolling clicks, and, along with the track’s choral samples, builds to a bold and brilliant cinematic climax.
Gemini Tri delivers “Mirror” chock-full of heady atmospheres, exquisite layering, and compelling processed vocal samples and sung lyrics. Through all the hazy, echoey melodies, one thing’s clear: finding your way through will land you head first in a contemplative daze.
Archaic Horizon Records
released April 29, 2014
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