Brett Naucke: Mirror Ensemble (American Dreams, 2021)

November 16, 2021 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Brett Naucke: Mirror Ensemble

Brett Naucke’s breathtaking new album is a collaboration with Natalie Chami (TALsounds, Good Willsmith) and Whitney Johnson (Matchess), both of the duo Damiana. Both artists add different dimensions to Naucke’s analog synth arrangements, and the results are unlike any of the artists’ other work. “The Glass Shifting” is a sort of goth sleepwalk, with starry synths shimmering down among Chami’s ethereal vocals and slow yet detailed machine beats. “A Look That Tells Time” is sparser and more crystalline, with mist floating off of thumb piano-like notes, then strings and more vivid synths rising and flowing like a fountain of pure energy. “Parallax” is clusters of haunting lights in the night sky, and “Rose Water” is similar but even spacier. “Sleep With Your Windows Open” is delicate and more acoustic, then “Late-Century Reflection” is one last burst of transcendent arpeggio-heavy synth power.

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