Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Thursday 23 May 2024


In April last year M- Paths released an album on Mighty Force, one of a string of first rate releases on the Exeter label in recent years, label boss Mark Darby clearly knowing his musical onions. Mighty Force's Bandcamp is a treasure trove of electronic albums and EPs and this year celebrates it's 33rd anniversary with a series of MF33 compilation albums, one already out and another to follow shortly. 

M- Paths 2023 album Hope was born in the early 90s influences of chill out rooms and the ambient/ indie of the 4AD bands but went beyond both of those, an ambient/ electronic masterclass, music bathed in the warm glow of analogue synths and made with the intention of connecting the listener to nature, each other and optimism. The new album, out a few weeks ago, is titled Submerge and is definitely an album to get lost in, to listen to with headphones on and sink into. There are thirteen tracks with Submerge and Emerge bookending the album, the feel of drifting below the surface and falling deeper into the ocean as the strange undersea world engulfs you, is present from the opening moments of the title track, sub bass, synths and then a clattering drum beat... 

Many of the tracks have single word titles- Panoramic, Reflect, Celestial, Beach, Contemplate- that reflect the album's theme and signpost the wonderous ambient techno that Marcus Farley and Nick Murray have crafted. Celestial is as good an example as any, six minutes of soaring electronic music, washes of synth bleeps, rippling toplines with the steadying, pushing thump of the drums.

Other tracks give strong suggestions about the nature of the music in their titles too, In No Hurry, On The Up and In The Warmth, all speaking for themselves. After over an hour of this ambient techno submersion things come to the surface with Emerge, a track that comes in gently with some piano notes picked out, Erik Satie all at sea, gradually joined by an industrial clanking for a rhythm track, as if great iron chains are lifting the submarine out of the water. Warm bass and a heavenly choir drift in and the clanking becomes electronic drums, panning between the speakers- it's a wholly beautiful and blissed out way to finish the album and the experience of listening to it, the sense of a journey completed and the hit of the sun on your face as you finally break through the waves and breathe the air again. Buy or listen at Bandcamp

No comments: