Mirror Return is the latest release for Canberra-via-Adelaide electronic musician Michael Radzevicius. An immediate album that also rewards repeat listens, his latest release luxuriates in an ambient, repetitious sound that is also oddly elastic, as if the whole thing may unfurl at any point.
‘Heft, Tensor, Arc” with its circular, shimmering synths and deep, droning bass line is a refined and restrained opener. Just when you think it’s really going to lift off, he pulls it all back and the track fades gently down. It’s an awesome effect and sets the tone for an album of refined and restrained tunes. Follow up ‘Blood Aspens’ contains waves of slow moving, distorted synths, but halfway through Radzevicius really gives us a satisfying release, with an awesomely twisted yet bight synth and squishy percussive sounds cut through the mix – it is pretty heady and intoxicating stuff.
Elsewhere, the title track’s piano motif and waves of static combine for a menacing feel, but even at the album’s most moody, introspective point, the record still feels incredibly open. The track is a very nice interlude on its own, but following it up with ‘Authority is Suffering’ makes for the album’s most punchy pairing. The track marks a subtle shift in the overall mood of the album, with a supremely quiet and slow introduction that opens up to something far brighter, replete with soft percussion, pitch-shifted vocal samples and warbling, major-key synths. It is perhaps the best example of how the release, despite its meandering and exploratory nature, is impeccably produced with a real attention to details.
‘Municipal Noir’ – the most techno track here, with a thumping beat and gentle “ooh” vocal samples – wouldn’t sound out of place on an album from The Field. It’s perhaps one of the most immediate songs here, and demonstrates that he could absolutely go more dancey on future releases should the mood strike.
‘Stalwarts of the Machine’ and ‘A Hose of Blood Around My Head’ are the most mesmerising and hopeful songs here; the latter, with its soft, heartbeat percussion and warm chords slowly morphs over 10 minutes and is an optimistic note to finish on.
An immaculately produced and perfectly sequenced release, the album has an open and warm feel with a wide and intriguing variety of sounds. It is exciting to imagine where this local talent will be come next release.