Agitated Atmosphere: Mist ‒ Glowing Net

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Mist.

As the year winds down, Agitated Atmosphere coincidentally hits on a tradition: reviewing the latest Mist LP. Many may balk at the idea of repetition but I’m sure some missed the chance to jump on the John Elliott and Sam Goldberg bandwagon. And if you so happened to jump on it this time last year, perhaps you missed out on Glowing Net’s initial release as a limited cassette.

Remastered and reissued via Amethyst Sunset, Glowing Net finds Elliott and Goldberg tightening their scope while expanding their sound palate. The sci-fi style is remains intact but gone is any nostalgic pretense. Rather than capture synth in its ancient prism, Mist are able to lend it new life amidst a new vision of science and fiction. Glowing Net is epic in quality yet minute in design. It won’t require much of your time, just your attention. The album is made to get in and get out — make its impression and leave it imprinted on your brain until it’s all you think about.

Listen to Untitled (Track 2):

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Synthesizer may be king throughout Glowing Net but it’s the embellishments that lend Mist their aura as difference makers set against an expanding musical movement. The album’s untitled second track displays the duo’s careful attention to finding the right rhythm. Beginning with a pulsating and funky beat to set the mood, the pair is slow to layer touches of synthetic bliss in concert with a distant knocking. Only after tone is set does the synthesizer begin to take the spotlight, launching the melody into the troposphere. It’s the small details that separate Mist from their peers — traits Goldberg and Elliott carry from their other works.

Investment is small but the payoff is large. Glowing Net is synth turned transcendental; the way the instrument was intended in its previous lifetimes. Do not fear the bandwagon — it shall launch you to outliers you were once only allowed to dream.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. He also pens Deserted for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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