Short but sweet, this glitchy little EP makes a solid impression in only a quarter of an hour. The debut work of 20-year-old MFAAH, Everything Better Under White Light sounds like the pops and fizzes of an aching florescent bulb. In these six tracks, it’s less about song than it is about texture: sound divested from structure, experiment from form. Hiss, static, bubble or drone, it doesn’t matter: the sounds are alluring enough to capture the attention.
The EP grows immediate when it stops sounding like a computer work and begins to sound more like a field recording. Auditory hallucinations arrive in “Morphs Feline” and “Space 8 Is Broken”, which inspire images of underwater streams instead of circuit boards. and “Nascent Antlers”, which successfully imitates the leg-rubbing of crickets. White noise, white light, white-out conditions: all three have the power to blur.
“Morphs Feline” is also the set’s most powerful single track, although with an EP this short it’s hard to play favorites. The piece flirts with melodic glitch to the extent that it seems ready to veer into the techno arena, but at the last second it decides to detour into drone. A waterfall of white noise dies prematurely at 2:08, later returning in cut-up mode. The louder noises go on a coffee break until “W139 Overhang”, arriving like a series of samurai swords, then breaking contact to eye each other warily. A tiny section beginning at 1:34 flirts with a beat that never happens. Such internal contrast is laudable, but it never builds up to anything; for that, we’ll have to wait for an album. MFAAH has made a good start; he’s young and has his whole career ahead of him. We have no reason to doubt that longer, more comprehensive works will soon appear. (Richard Allen)