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Inventions – Maze Of Woods

  • Written by  Ben Macnair

Inventions is a collaboration between musicians and mixers Matthew Cooper of Eluvium and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky, and showcases the work of two creative practitioners putting their individual egos to one side to develop and work on a project that is a true collaboration.

Over the eight tracks of this release, the largely instrumental work produces a feeling of euphoria at times, but also of being outside. There is something of the wide expanses of nature, particularly in the soundscapes of the piano ballad ‘Peregrine’, where nature sounds and disembodied voices add an eerie atmosphere of foreboding, whilst the album opener ‘Escapers’ mixes a slow beat with those disembodied voices and glitches that sound like a supermarket checkout. Although it is not the type of soundtrack to your usual weekly shop, maybe it is the feeling of being in the supermarket at four in the morning. This atmosphere of nagging piano and slow beats is also used to good effect during ‘Springworlds’.

In many ways, this album sounds like the soundtrack to a film that is yet to be made: rich in detail, but with very little forward momentum. A faster track here and there, or some drums would have done the trick, but that comes in track five, which fuses electric guitar on the point of distortion to that slow beat which has proven all too familiar. ‘Moanmusic’ is an experiment in form, blending electronic sounds to more ambient instruments. Whilst the album closer, ‘Feeling the Sun Thru the Earth at Night’ is another slice of downbeat folktronica, just as you might expect something more upbeat, a lot like life really.

But the album is not really designed to be listened to on the surface. It demands, and rewards, something much deeper than that. The atmospheres and spaces it conjures will all appeal differently to each listener, so although people might like loud music, this is music for the quieter times, and not all music has to be listened to in crowds, or appreciated for its toe-tapping beats.

Maze Of Woods is available from amazon & iTunes.

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