After a first listen of ‘Mosaic’ by Brooklyn’s premier psych drone merchants ‘Ancient Sky’, it doesn’t sound produced at all. In fact it sounds like they just rocked up to the studio, set up their kit, checked their levels in the booth, producer Ben Greenberg was happy, pressed record and they just played. I’m no producer, so I’m sure it’s more complex than that, but on the surface that’s how it appears. Regardless of intricacies and studio trickery that was used to record ‘Mosaic’, it sounds refreshing.
‘Ancient Sky’ confirmed that they wanted this album to replicate the massive scale and incendiary nature of their live sound. Songs like Know, Sing Swing, lead single Garbage Brain, Induction and Ancient Tape show off their prowess perfectly. At times if feels like they are playing in an adjacent room and you are having the privilege of listening to it directly off the mixing desk.
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On previous albums ‘T.R.I.PS.’ and ‘All Get Out’, ‘Ancient Sky’ took more time building the tracks up and elongating their instrumental sequences, on ‘Mosaic’ however they’re not messing about. The interplay between the group is tighter than on previous releases too, the music is easily penetrable and instantly gratifying. At first it seems a little suffocating, but then you pick out a guitar line, or keyboard run that pulls you in and the fog parts and you are standing in the middle, and all of this organised cacophony is swirling around you. The instrumental breakdowns are exquisite; especially on Induction is almost playful at time. The bass and drums rumble and crash in the background while keyboard and guitar fight for attention all the while Brian Markham’s vocals somehow remain floating just above it all.
This is the most cohesive and impressive album the ‘Ancient Sky’ have released to date. It shows that they are masters of their craft and through a few subtle notes and phrases are able to skew and twist each song in new and exciting directions. The only real question is where can they go from here? Given the strength of this album, the skies the limit.
‘Mosaic’ is out now on Wharf Cat Records
The full track-listing for ‘Mosaic’ is as follows…