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  • Archives
     

    Max + Mara – “Less Ness” – [Dark Entries]

    max_mara
    Right away, I recognized the unique accent and phrasing of
    Mara (Barenbaum) from the criminally overlooked Group Rhoda
    She’s got this great clipped delivery and sounds like a bleeding
    edge android. Is she from Berlin, or some other galaxy. No way
    she’s honestly just a San Fran sister as the bio states. She’s
    joined here by Max (Brotman) for more than a fashionable
    monicker, he seems to be a master sequencer of sorts, the music
    on here while often keeping a heroin sway dancebeat of sorts,
    is loaded with little frils and runs and patches and icy breaks.
    Backwards voice and synth keep the chill, Mara’s voice is swept
    up in pockets of reverb. There’s even some vocoder on “No One”
    and sampled screams to whip remind a rhythm. Lots of triggered
    drum machine make for a shifting beat, you never feel trapped
    in by 4-by-4 walls. Artful arrangements maximize the minimal
    wave, likely no accident that the album cover is this spray
    of color. Still life. That might be a better description for
    this type of music, there’s no doubt that both Max + Mara
    come armed with phalanx of keyboard banks, and so at heart
    their’s is a black and white world (granted with some analog
    devices in the mix), but they really seem to take care with
    stacking and varying of the sounds. This never feels sterile
    in the sound. With other synth-fueled music, I frequently tire
    as the same loops/notes/sounds get recycled. Here the music
    is in constant and rapid evolution. That may hurt their chances
    on the remix dance floor (although “Unseen” and “Concrete Lines”
    would beg to differ), but it makes for a rewarding listen
    all the way through. It’s Mara’s vocals that remain consistent,
    emotionally resistant and vigilant as Big Sister. Spooky good.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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