"Verse & Cleansing Undertones of Wake/Lift"

by Octopi Mills

Mike Armine is described as being a dark drone/noise manipulator and musician from the Philadelphia project Rosetta, and this album, I believe, is a newer one coupled with an remix of an older one, making it a double album; full and rich with much material. This said, I am reviewing Verse, separately, at this time..

The album sort of glides along harmlessly, with the songs softly interwoven in such a way that gives the feeling that they are all connected at all times, and one can get lost in separating them from one another, though this is not a negative thing. The beats presented here flail around and the music drones and is indeed quite ambient, as has been described. The song titles-"Optical Electronics", "Carson's Theorem", and "Adorno Pattern", to name a few, seem mere guide posts on the listening voyage, and after some time I wonder what if the effort would be best prescribed with some herbal supplements or mind altering drugs for an old earwig like myself to get the concept or pun, if you would. By the fifth song there is a more intense change, though i must confess that I am navigating the listening experience by these sign posts that are song titles, and one would seem to melt if these things were taken away, into the wash of this subtle droning ambience.

After a few moments into this, I feel that there is a drudgery to the experience, and I am not saying this as some "metalhead" who has never heard, explored, or made his own electronic music, though it must be said this sort of electronica is not really my own cup of  tea. The droning fails to make me think of anything other than electronics- slower beats, droning that is machine like and very dreamy, though I have no visuals by which to base this one, and am left hearing just drones and liquid patterns themselves. Perhaps this music would be better suited for a soundtrack or film score to better support the sounds presented here, or in a setting where one is enhanced by another focus such as accompanied by hallucinations, or even a live setting in a place somewhere. To say that this musician has no talent whatsoever would be cruel and suspicious, though some will probably say this who just don't "get it" or listen to it soberly expecting something different. And maybe this even is the key- that it is sobriety itself here and my very ears and mind are the  defective problem, wanting something more than is there or wishing to look further into something that is much more deep than my own mundane senses. As the soft engines wind down, I am left with the feeling that the artist has something to say, silently and through conceptual instrumentation, though it could just be that it is me who is not receiving the messages intuitively, and am therefore cut-off from the inner eye needed to perceive such a creation.