Review Summary: Fun while it lasts.
Every now and then, it is a blessing to get a peek into the world of underground, bedroom producer. Many of these people have arguably just as much inspiration, even the same capabilities as the producers that we all know and love. All they have to do is know their way around the right tools, whether they be a guitar, a piece of software, or their own mind. Mechanical Museum is a refreshing glimpse into the aquatic habitat of bedroom producers. This brisk walk of a new album, Hex Winter
, spawns from the record label Bloompunch (stylized as //bloompunch.) They strive to showcase other producers who share his predicament; having great music, but nowhere to go with it. I’m glad that I could be a part of the same label, as I most likely never would have heard this album if I wasn’t. Hex Winter
demonstrates exactly how Mechanical Museum is able to manipulate the sounds he creates into something eccentric.
Given three of the track titles, which all begin with ‘Hex’, it’s easy to sense some portion of a theme throughout this album. It maintains consistency, flowing very well throughout eight tracks, with very few of them overstaying their welcome. However, it tends to be the shorter songs that are simultaneously the most interesting. Hex Solar
is a mere 2:38, still the third shortest song on the album, but it is one to which I keep coming back. The methods used to really sculpt the mood and sounds themselves is almost reminiscent of Flying Lotus. Rhythms are occasionally off-kilter, and will eventually give way to a glitchy mess that somehow remains captivating. Odd twists like this, or perhaps the midsection of Sorceries Down One
where each individual element starts progressing to the beat of its own drum, declare that Mechanical Museum will occasionally focus more on structure than story. That does not have to be a bad thing, but unfortunately, the semblance of a story diminishes on repeated listens.
Something else tends to decrease on multiple listens, and that’s the idea of Hex Winter
being fresh and creative. Of course, the sounds don’t start getting less impressive overtime; they still sound tantalizing no matter how many times they’re experienced. To put it bluntly, it’s just not enough.
The most exciting songs are any one of the three ‘Hex’ tracks, or even the beauty that is Echoburst
. That song has enough complexity and progression that helps it remain stable for four minutes. However, //bloompunch. released a compilation of songs about two months before this album was released. It featured three songs from Mechanical Museum, all
of which also show up here. Anybody who listened to that already knows nearly half the songs here, and the other ones are too short to make up a really substantial listen.
Make no mistake, I really like what I’m hearing on Hex Winter
. The biggest problem is that there just isn’t enough of it. Under half an hour long, it contains some truly brilliant ideas that are trapped in the confines of just a few tracks. Having more time to flesh things out, or having more ideas inserted into the album would make it last longer in the listener’s head. Otherwise, the feeling of novelty wears off too fast.