Mind Over Mirrors – The Voice Rolling (Vinyl)
Mind Over Mirrors might not be a household name, but the brain behind the project, Jaime Fennelly, has been involved in numerous acclaimed and respected projects over the last few years. Primarily known for his work as an integral member of Peeesseye, he’s also involved with Acid Birds, Manpack Variant and Phantom Limb & Bison.
‘The Voice Rolling’ is his first solo record in five years and the first under this new moniker. First and foremost, this is a harmonium record and that’s important to remember because it doesn’t sound like any other harmonium record you’ve likely heard. Nearly all of the sounds created were made using a medium-sized Indian harmonium and then processed electronically via tape echo, harmonizer and other guitar pedals. Add in the fact that it was recorded to tape and you get a dense, warm record full of grit and emotion.
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On “Barely Spun” and again on “Round, Around” Fennelly bends slowly-building, repetitive melodies into massive sonic mountains. There is so much joy and ecstasy flowing out of “Round, Around” that it will remind you of how you felt when you first heard the pure expressions in Sacred Harp singing. The music on ‘The Voice Rolling’ is rampant with an over-arching feeling of being alive – something that’s all-too-often absent in experimental music.
Fennelly has an innate ability to manually construct looping bass patterns that sound almost arpeggiated, but have considerably more depth. The rawness and repetition of pieces like “Brickfielder” and “Point Hammond” feel more in line with American primitive blues than any sort of Indian ragas. Turn Roscoe Holcomb’s voice into a harmonium and stretch it out and you’re going down the right path.
Fennelly put the album together in Chicago, but the organic undercurrents throughout were a product of three years of remote living on an island off the coast of Washington State. It is music that embraces both sides of the coin. This is a visceral listening experience that, at times, will make you want to stand up, raise your arms to the sky and scream.
Recorded to tape by Jaime Fennelly and mastered by Scott Colburn with art by Serena Lander. Cut to vinyl by D+M Berlin.