Kim Gordon loves the cover of this LP. Most reviews could probably stop at that point because, well it’s Kim Gordon. All it needed was Thurston Moore to say he was a fan of the liner notes and that would probably remove any need for further questions around quality. However, reviews should provide an element of critical scrutiny and a little more in the way of substance. And that is a good word to describe this album. Electronic music albums have always had the capacity to be hit and miss, too conceptual, too light on quality, sometimes just simply less than the sum of their parts, the hits rung out, with plenty of filler inbetween.
With 'Green Mirror', Eddie Ruscha (Laughing Light of Plenty, The Naturals) has put together a set of recordings that takes a mass of his compositions from the last three years and boils them down into a coherent whole. There are obvious call backs to his roots in psychedelia and shoegaze with the title track 'Undenying', but there is also expansion. There are tropical, even euphoric, sounds to be found in tracks like one of the album highlights, 'Illuminated Knights'.
My introduction to his music was via the Beats in Space world of Tim Sweeny, and it definitely follows a lineage of that New York, DFA, mid-tempo, electronic, slowed down techno / house sound. But these are as echoes and influences rather than at the fore. This music certainly has more for the head than the feet, but there is plenty here to get into. It can be intricate at times ('Polygono') but can also drift towards drone-groove territory ('Tunnel Vision').
There is potential dancefloor material to be found, not peak time, although the aforementioned 'Illuminated Knights' comes close. The dreamy acoustic 'Everyday There’s Something New', heavily affected vocal included, could easily soundtrack a late summer sunrise. 'Phasor MD' feels like it would work pitched up, or as a head nod, early evening groove - K&D wobble and all. 'Galleon In the Clouds' adds Kraftwerk touches and probably does the most to up the overall tempo of the album. While 'Westward Glint' takes a pinging guitar and minimal synth lines, turning them into a mellow ride.
'Stillitude' takes the beatless soundscape theme to its high point, and along with following track, 'Piece', provides a reflective double header before the more driving beat of 'Golden Flouride'.
'Land of Mordor' comes across as a pocket opera in two parts. A dramatic organ-led build up to an oscillating electronic pay off. Closing track, 'The Song of the Sea', pushes the guitar front and centre before descending into an extended horn-led echo chamber finale.
There is definitely variety in the sounds, tempos and feel of the 21 tracks on offer. Some are short, more experimental sound textures rather than out and out tunes, but that gives it light and shade. Certain tracks could and would work loud, while others are there to get lost in headphone moments. Nothing here hits the kind of anthemic level of the 'Laughing Light of Plenty' releases, but it’s not really for that.
This release is the result of 60+ demos, reduced to the tracks on this album, so given the source material it’s surprisingly focussed. There’s emotion here and hooks and it’s immersive and well worth your time getting lost in from start to finish.
Secret Circuit's 'Green Mirror' will be released on April the 10th on Invisible, Inc. and is available for pre-order on vinyl and digital HERE.