Earthen Sea - Mirage

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  • Back in October, Daniel Martin-McCormick dropped his latest release as Ital, the tense and wiry two-tracker Throbbing, through his own Lovers Rock imprint. Now, he seeks out more meditative environs for the label with Earthen Sea's Mirage EP. Earthen Sea is a longtime alias of Jacob Long, a San Francisco artist who played bass in Martin-McCormick's group Mi Ami, and Mirage is the project's first full vinyl release. With four tracks on wax and two digital extras—and a total running time close to 50 minutes—Mirage is a lengthy trip through ambient-ish techno soundscapes. Each of the rhythmic tracks wanders about with BPMs in the low 120s. The A-side cuts are busier, with "Saharan Ocean" steadily building up a reverberated clatter, and "Velvet Grey" anchored by a kick drum that alternately fades away and sharpens into focus. The record blurs further into abstraction on the flip. "Opaque Oasis" sees Long emphasizing a kick that lightly stamps out an uneven trail beneath increasingly strained, rattling atmospherics. "Venus" eschews beats entirely, with chiming bells that dissolve into pools of warm, melancholy tones. The two digital tracks have similar approaches to those on the vinyl. "Sea Of Neptune" offers more airy, harmonized drones and another roaming kick drum, while the beat-less "Floating" sees Long take one last dive into sub-aquatic ambiance. Mirage might feel a bit aimless at times, but that seems to be the point. Those who dig electronic music's softer, more introspective pathways will likely be delighted with this one.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Saharan Ocean A2 Velvet Grey B1 Opaque Oasis B2 Venus