- Back in spring, Wig Water Magic—a recent alias for Seattle's Jon McMillion, who'd also issued music under his own name for Orac a few years ago—put together a mix for the Made Like a Tree podcast. MLAT24 blended records with additional live instrumentation to evoke the dreamy ambience native to the further reaches of the Pacific Northwest as well as anything I've heard.
The new Transitman EP basks in a similarly luminous grey-scale, with lots of fuzz around the edges. "Transitman" is a track that might have been a natural for a gleaming treatment, but here the soft-padded keyboards, conga-touched percussion and occasional whizzes and whirs play out as if through cotton. The muzziness is inviting, like a party heard a room away. That party aspect is amped considerably—thanks to better fidelity and less leftfield approaches both—by the two remixes of "Transitman" here: Stefny's is more straightforwardly housey, while [a]pendics.shuffle teases it out for 11 minutes, with a clean (almost clear) yet expansive aural palette that's both vaporous and psychedelic.
Yet it's almost overly straight next to the WWM tracks themselves, which seem to proceed entirely of their own accord even when the track's parameters are sharply defined, as with "Gotta Leave It," which functions like a circular meditation, bearing down on the essence of that blobby bass pulse and occasional soul-sung syllables scattered over the obsessive beat. "It Ain't Simple" rides a lightly teetering rhythm loop with an odd, near-discordant chime accent, then builds to a soul-vox peak—a craggy one, in every sense.
2. Gotta Leave It
3. It Aint Simple
4. Transitman (Stefny Remix)
5. Transitman ([a]pendics.Shuffle remix)