Release Date: June 24, 2014
Contact: Bill (at) teamclermont (dot) com
Label: Cloud Recordings
From the mixed-up files of W. Cullen Hart comes "Mosaics Within Mosaics" by The Circulatory System, a suitcase assemblage for 26 musicians, available June 24th on limited edition double LP, compact disc, and mp3 via Cloud Recordings or immediate streaming during your next convenient lucid dream cycle. Constructed by drummer Derek Almstead from over a decade's worth of Hart's intricate recordings and experiments, Mosaics Within Mosaics is a new phase Circulatory System album, because they all are. But it's also a highly traditional interconnected/musique concrète-dappled/post-SMiLE/harmony-drenched/imagistic/collaborative home-recorded entheogenic Wall of Sound fantasia from one of the form's inventors and unceasing innovators.
Following The Circulatory System (2001) and Signal Morning (2009), Mosaics Within Mosaics carries on the quietly audacious work of Athens, Georgia experimental pop figurehead W. Cullen Hart, co-founder of the beloved Olivia Tremor Control. The third album under The Circulatory System flag comes, as always, draped with Hart's layered paintings, a creative voice that has evolved in almost exact parallel to his music. The back of the set likewise comes sealed with the small logo belonging to the Elephant 6 Recording Co., another Hart design, and the album's credits contain many of the musicians that familiar logo has come to imply.
Between the band's signature double-drum blasts, the mosaicscapes are detailed by a series of intimate small ensembles drawn from the extended community orchestra of Hart's longtime collaborators, including woodwind trios and quartets by Olivia Tremor Control compatriot John Fernandes (Old Smokey, Dreamboat), a wollensack balloon solo by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), and contributions from Derek Almstead (Faster Circuits), Heather McIntosh (The Instruments), Peter Erchick (Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't), Eric Harris (Frosted Ambassador), AJ Griffin (Laminated Cat), Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, Hawk and a Hacksaw), and others.
Alongside Hart's open-hearted wonderings ("When You're Small"), Martian harmonies ("Neon Light"), comes a playfulness rarely visited since the early Olivia days ("Over Dinner the Cardinal Spoke"). With ever-shifting mixes built to highlight the many approaches to each piece, Mosaics Within Mosaics is perhaps the first album to capture the extra-dimensional scope of what it sounds like to be W. Cullen Hart. The album's 31 songs are prone to suddenly turning into songs in noun-form only, reassembling before one's ears into holographic self-revisions of themselves. All are sewn together by the title sequence of vignettes, a series of wordless Joseph Cornell-like puzzleboxes as beguiling and welcoming as anything in Hart's considerable catalogue.
"Mosaics Within Mosaics" is a world to dive into with good headphones or from a comfortable spot (both physically and mentally) in the exact center of a well-apportioned stereo field. Arrangements spin into close detail, whirl through transparent layers of overdubs, and reveal cross-sections of drum parts, birds, tropical bells, reamplified feedback, air organ, tape loops, laughs, rocks, dripping water, kazoo, and _____. Listen closely, you might hear yourself.
As always, The Circulatory System and their self-operated Cloud Recordings welcome all recordings of your dreams and other correspondence at PO Box 821, Athens, GA, 30603.
- psychedelic rock