dw015 - Mystified - Ophir

Agniworld - Kirill Platonkin (c) 2011
Now let’s have some new portion of bizarre and pensive music from Thomas Park’s project Mystified and his 2008 Dark Winter release “Ophir”. First, let’s discuss the title: Ophir is a biblical region, location of which is unknown till present days – it is the place, closely related to King Solomon’s treasures. Also, a martial canyon was named in the name of this region. What was the initial and exact source of inspiration for Mystified remains a mystery; strictly speaking Mystified justifies his name. The main feature of this drone ambient album is minimalism and straightforwardness, though if going deep into this creation, if feeling it keenly, you are sure to enjoy the implied solid textures and unfathomable moods, resorted by Thomas Park. You hear some low-tone ringings, wide and thick strata of soft noise, hummings and slightly eroded distant melodies. The album is crowned by more than half an hour long track “Constant”, which again justifies its name – permanent drone in the aggregate with noise, builds this long, monotonous composition, but it doesn’t make you worn out, in spite of its structure, it isn’t boring – it is some kind of a field recording from another, parallel world. So, join Mystified’s revelations with his album “Ophir”.

Alan Walker (c) 2008
Mystified is Thomas Park and he looks a bit like Moby in the photo of the great man on his home site. Since 2003 under the Mystified banner he has produced collaborative, mixed media and personal works, mainly orbiting the ambient/drone genre. On the basis that a man is as good as his library, perform your own character assessment of Thomas at his extensive links page, a one stop shop for a fine array of leftfield labels and artists. I approve of Thomas' distribution model - lots of free works - in the best tradition of the web. He is a keen blogger, posting most days, and as you will see he still embraces the compact cassette, the medium that democratised music, a cultural precursor to the www.

Orphir by Mystified. The album is available as a high bitrate MP3 from Orphir on Darkwinter In overview, Orphir is what I regard as a sub-minimal work - beyond what I regard as "drone". It is a deeper layer in the taxonimic root-system, that for want of a better description, I would call "dispersal". This is deepest essence, the volatile micro-trace that evaporates from music at the slightest waver from absolute zero. The antithesis of melody, harmony and counterpoint. White paint on a white wall. In this sense, it achieves more than Jonh Cage's seminal 4'33''. Orpir defies a paradox - it defines silence with sound. The review, as often from the Landschaft pen, is free-form; a trancendental impression rather than literal description, and in this case is interchangable between pieces; a series of pen sketches:

A pot-shard caught in stasis, suspended in the layers of history. A marker in time culturally cross-referencing - defining a point in time. Or the Tertiary/Cretacious border clueing an extinction event in a band of ash, an event in the geo-scape, a bar code turned on it's side waiting to be read.

The friction of dead plankton on water molecules in their descent to the depths. A cypher waiting for the law of accelerating return to increase computing complexity to a point where the relationship of everything to everything else is decoded. A Rosetta stone of secrets waiting to be unlocked.

White noise from the ether, where CETI, casting her far reaching ear in anticipation of a voice from the galaxies has arrived too late for the message.

Orphir is a small Orkney Isles (NE of Scotland) community on the edge of Scarp Flow. Home to the ghosts of the british naval fleets of two world wars. The rusting hulks of monster battleships lie at rest on the seabed, graves to the fallen in plate steel. And Orphir is the seaweed that wafts on the tide.

Back To Reviews

Creative Commons License
Dark Winter releases are free to download under a Creative Commons License.

Related Links: