Chasms "The Mirage" LP
Following 2016's On the Legs of Love Purified and the recent "Divine Illusion" single, The Mirage pushes the band's ethereal sound into the murky depths of dub. Marking a sonic shift for the project, we find the duo trading in chaotic bursts of noise for understated minimalism that's still characteristically melancholic and potent with emotion. Labrador's drum production is as deft as ever with an expanded range of electronic samples and tape delay induced polyrhythms. Layered with Madden's persistently dubby bass, Labrador's sparse guitar and gliding soprano float above a labyrinth of hypnotic sequences. These dublaced dirges signify growth within the band, heard in their command of repetition, space, and effects to build a pervasive mood that's often utterly heartbreaking.
The Mirage was conceived following major upheaval in the pair's lives, including the loss of Madden's brother and a number of friends in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire in 2016. Compounded with the dissolution of a marriage, and leaving San Francisco to relocate to Los Angeles, the album is an exploration of grief and the multifaceted heartbreak that follows such events. 'The Mirage' tells candid narratives of a heavy heart but does not wallow in despair.