When presenting a debut release, it’s always helpful to have a striking cover image. Mindtrick‘s sci-fi photo is a macroscopic image of the slime mold Comatricha. Even more amazing than the optics, the music sounds like the art. Are our minds playing tricks on us?
Yuting Wu‘s music is layered, intricate and three-dimensional, its elaborate sound field akin to the workings of an extraterrestrial science lab. Her brief compositions combine an electro-acoustic approach with IDM/industrial timbres, resulting in one of the most cerebral outings of the season. And yet, for all the circuitry and chemicals, there’s also a personal, even playful touch, apparent in the finale with the windings of a children’s toy.
We tried to figure out what “FTOCT-4450” represents: a secret government document? An alien aircraft? But Google led us right back to the first single. Dark whooshes, skittering percussion and a robotic sheen are melded to a surprisingly danceable piece, whose baseline is set at 84 b.p.m. but whose inner workings double that figure. Concentrate on the metallic flavors and one will miss the organic; the orchestral undercurrent becomes dominant after the crashing break. The title track flirts with FLA territory before ending in a sequence of major chords.
While the EP may not have been constructed for dance floors, it often screams body movement, if “Flight 4.19” were not so brief (1:42!) it would be the perfect choice for second single, establishing its rhythm in its first second and issuing a clarion call. Instead we’ll suggest “Ankahuangmin,” a Chinese medicine used to relieve headache, fever and more. While not available in capsules, the capsule-sized track distills the artist’s best qualities to a single, manageable dose. We’re looking forward to hearing a full album of these enticing sounds! (Richard Allen)