On that note I ended my review of Marta Mist’s debut Distance/Skeletal/Union, a single which instantly found its way to my heart via my hard drive then ears. An all encompassing piece of drone infused contemporary classical brilliance that in the two years that followed its release has left me yearning for the moment when they’ll finally release their first full length. Now it’s here, and sadly it’s also their last.
Industries is a sharp left turn compared to the collective’s prior releases. While their previous efforts were analogue at heart with washes of acoustic instruments hovering all over the drones, Industries sees their classical instruments take the backseat on the most part, save for piano, in favor of synthesizers, effect pedals and grooveboxes. But fear not, fellow fans, for they manage to make it work, but on a totally different level.
The aforementioned single and follow up Fawn/Marta’s Lament were both targeted at the heart and soul, mysteries unraveled by sound. The mystery element is still there but the target here is the body, it is more physical with a palpable sense of urgency. Whereas they shed the light on the inner workings of their minds before, this time around they cast a layer of impermeable darkness that irks the listeners to do the work themselves. One is left with the choice to either bask in solitary isolation or move out of it; it is more oppressive and provides an exit route that I could imagine some people opting for. This is definitely not for the feeble hearted.
Opener “Where U At?” gets the point through almost immediately; this is emotionally heavy music, deeply melancholic and acts as a fitting prelude to a final farewell. The album continues to progress along the same lines; a strong piano line with thick layers evolving around it, strings make a couple of noteworthy cameo appearances. Field recordings are utilized brilliantly in “Crack The Sun To Bleed A Blood Red Sky”, which is the hands down highlight of the album, the track that brings everything together and the perfect point to anchor the more dreary eyed reflection of the tracks to follow. Rustling floors and opening doors summon images of moving objects, bags being packed, new destinations set and pursued.
Everything afterwards leans on elements of contemplation and nostalgia, eyes well up with the final track (fittingly, albeit heartbreakingly, titled “Death to Marta Mist”). Volumes reach red, commotion ensues and the collective disbands. Industries might have invalidated my initial statement completely but it holds its own tremendously. It might not see the collective reach their potentials to their fullest, but it imprints a lasting memory, one that should cause many to go back, relive and wonder what could’ve been had they explored this new path more thoroughly. As a fan of their from their first note plucked to the last, it is sad to see them go and one can only hope that we hear more from this group of musicians in different future endeavors. In the eternal words of ABBA, “Thank you for the music!” (Mohammed Ashraf)