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Rob Mazurek: Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV

Karl Ackermann By

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On Rob Mazurek's Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and visual artist has woven together esoteric and tangible elements on two extended tracks, with their origins in mysteries of the deep. His frequent objective is to musically capture any number of interactions between humans and nature, the spiritual world, and physical foundations. In that vein, Mazurek has addressed facets of these connections with Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers (Harmonipan, 2018), the experimental film and composition, The Farnsworth Scores (2018), and with Desert Encrypts Vol. 1 (Astral Spirits, 2019), a part of this Marfa Trilogy.

From 2000 to 2008, Mazurek captured the sounds of electric eels housed at The National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manus, Brazil. Much of what the electric eel does, and how it does it, is a mystery to scientists and a natural draw for an artist fascinated by the universes above and below us. Mazurek synthesizes the amplified sounds, which, in nature, bear a resemblance to motor neuron activity, and he generates glowing, slightly surging qualities that alter the sonic properties of the eel. Shadings and sharper aspects of these pieces spring from understated fluctuations in waveforms. The two tracks—"IV A" and "IV B"—are hypnotic; the first more meditative, the second, reverberating with electrical energy. Not conventionally musical, Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV is nevertheless systematically alive with its own dynamism. It grows and recedes in the distances of heartbeats; the source is never obvious but seems to come from everywhere.

Mazurek had premiered Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV at Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago in 2017 as part of a multi-media performance. The synthesis took place in Marfa, seemingly bringing the full circle of the composer's own roots to a close. But, because Mazurek does not work with strict adherence to rules of architecture or physics, he tends not to leave a static environment behind. There is always sonic residue flying off to create another life form and a new inspiration.

Track Listing: Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV A; Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV B.

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: synthesizers, samples.

Title: Psychotropic Electric Eel Dreams IV | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Astral Spirits

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