• Music •
Seeping Through the Veil
Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Seeping Through the Veil of the Unconscious
Digitalis, August 2010
My first experience of MSOTT, named for a phrase from William Burroughs’ novel, The Soft Machine, was the sublime “Electric Rain” mix for mnml ssgs. The tracklist reads like a who’s who of the synth world, made up entirely of low-fi gems released in criminally small quantities on CD-R and cassette. Seeping was originally produced as a run of 80 tapes in 2010 and was repressed in similarly small numbers by Digitalis in 2011.
Rachel Evans, the goddess behind the moniker, told me that “you can afford to release tapes more frequently and in smaller numbers, unlike records which have a significantly longer turn-around time and don’t make sense to release in small quantities.” But, due to its popularity it was eventually pressed on vinyl. I was extremely lucky to get hold of the third edition (white vinyl, catalogue no. ‘digiv032′, for all the trainspotters). It is quite simply the most beautiful, emotive hour of music I have ever heard.
Evans is clearly influenced by nature and the mysticism of the forest; reflections from her log cabin studio in LaGrange, Georgia. The tracks feel organic. Not acoustic, but, equally, not purely electronic. Evans laments in her Siren tones over hazy kosmische pulses, and a guitar can even be heard on “Mental Projection”. You can never quite decipher what she says, but the vocals transmogrify the sounsdcapes into something more accessible and human than her peers’ offerings. Evans’ aim with MSOTT was to make her voice sound as beautiful as possible. The voice here is the music. The synths are extra. And the synths themselves are incredible.
Considering Seeping is a collection of six tracks, each of unique character, there is a surprising coherency to the album. Evans wrote Seeping, she says, “a few days after I graduated from college in one sitting and [my husband] Grant said I should send it to somebody.” You are aware of the beginnings and ends, but in the middle you float, unaware of the passing of time. The album isn’t warm, uplifting ambience, nor is it dark, soul-destroying drone. Instead, it strikes a perfect balance along the spectrum, alighting somewhere near melancholy.
Harry Scholes studies biochemistry at Oriel College.