Mint Field | Pasar de las Luces | Innovative Leisure
Release date: February 23rd 2018
Review by Jenna Dreisenstock
Otherworldly immersion; a caress, the reflection of oneself a ghost in fading. To reach out a hand, glass cold to touch, a projection of the world living within; otherworldly being, shadow of light and gradual heavy haze. Watching ourselves as outsiders. An embrace of the intangible. Existing tangibility in living theatre. A glaring projection. A mirage so unlike all of what we hold, fists clenched and opening; allow, break and let go. The ability to recognize the detachment of oneself and try, try to exist as much as we are able. Auditory exploration of an overwhelming, sinking feeling. An uplift in ghostly embrace. What we are now, what we were, what we will be. Confronts us, moves through us. A shiver in the body. Brushed off. Reject of the acting and touch of the fingertips to the self that stands before us. A glaring projection. Move through you. Exist as one.
In their debut full length album, Pasar de las Luces, Tiyana-based duo Mint Field guide us through the haunting engulf; an exploration twilight-scape of auditory gaze, reverberating in one’s chest. Heavy, closed eyes. A project clasped by 21 year olds Estrella Sanchez and Amor Amezcua, Mint Field explore and combine genres, creating a unique, beautifully melancholic heartbeat in Pasar de las Luces. The duo began with the meeting of Amor: with a love for rock and roll, and all things synth – and Estrella, a previous professional bowler. A fervent dive into their shared vigour of indie rock and shoegaze, the two formed Mint Field. Releasing their debut EP in 2015, Mint Field quickly went on to play SXSW, Coachella, as well as tour the US and Mexico: accompanied by shows played with bands such as Suuns and Hello Seahorse. In an immersive haze of sound, Pasar de las Luces, presents us with various genre concoctions; heavy, distorted haze and fuzz of dreamy shoegaze, melodies reminiscent of post-rock induced melancholia, to German-inspired krautrock. Psychedelic and experimental, waves of gentle harmonies combined with fast-paced distorted riffs, create an emotional journey on which to guide us; a phantasm, yet real and raw.
A foreshadowing of tone in Pasar de las Luces, the first track of the album ‘El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin’ softly speaks to us, a gentle sample of spoken word gliding in distant reverb; a prelude to a tender yet confident guitar melody; soaked in a chamber of reverberation and embracing echo, a self assured 4/4 bassline accompanies the melodic kaleidoscope, as distant voice continues to haunt the instrumental literation; comes a moment of still, ambient stretch of absorb – an outsider, soothing siren song glittering as Sanchez’s vocals guide the audience to the familiar melody, nostalgia; yet submerged in heavier fuzz.
Drifting tenderly into ‘Ojos En El Carro’, Sanchez’s vocals shiver in auditory after-life. The echo of an accompanying guitar line, melancholic in it’s reminiscence of post-rock soundscape layered over a calm yet driving beat. Astral expression, the outside of one’s body looking down; hazey chords cradle Sanchez’s haunting vocals, drenched in delay. Elaborate harmonies of twinkling guitars sing with the cymbal-fuzz synth. A pull away, grasp of the hand as dragged into the heaviness; gritty shoegaze guitars and the solemn heaviness of an aural bubble, Sanchez’s angelic vocals a striking and cinematic accompaniment in the shroud of assertive riffs and driven bass.
An exploration in impression, ‘Temporada De Jacarandas’, experiments with a solid beat as a greeting; harmonies layering one another in the sweetness of ambient being. Sanchez’s vocals drift into shore, and retreat into distant sea; the light of emotion // transcendence in tone, calm to driven – a gradual build of theatrical melody. A slow transition, breaking common song structure, Mint Field traverse curious guitars, a kinship between vocal reverberation and experimentation. Glance of the ghost self in sliding electronics, a calm collective in fading out.
A contrast to the easy going tone of ‘Temporada De Jacarandas’, ‘Quiero Otoño De Nuevo’ lightens the melancholia to an upbeat, driven mood, fast-paced and dreamlike in it’s urge for movement – a playful shoegaze melody plays amongst the dream-pop saturated haze, a combination of distortion and Sanchez’s ever illuminating vocal tone creates a loving relationship between the enthusiasm of the guitar and ambience of vocal harmony. A mirage of images, glowing reflections of the past as one gazes out the gleaming windows on a long drive; glimmering sunlight in an excitement of existence, blurring past in fleeting, raw reminders of what is possible.
A return to an initially deceptive sombre sphere of sound, ‘Club De Chicas’ creates a phantasm of tonal, experimental song structure and juxtaposition. A soft embrace of swelling guitars, drifting with Sanchez’s vocals in soundscape; glittering post-rock melodies give way to an intoxicating dance of hazy, distorted layers of compelling overwhelm of excitement. The heartbeat slows, a moment quick to grasp; take a breath, gentle sounds collide like bursting stars into a theatrical climactic foundation of focal guitar, building in strength as the pace lifts, an urging thrill into the familiar of encompassing wall of sound, a take-over of the heartbeat, a pure engulf with accompanying lyrical vocals.
‘Párpados Morados’, the closing track of the album returns to it’s earnest roots; a slow, yet steady pace – a hand hold, clasping fingers and caress; a ghost body amongst the vibrant green of phantasm forest – as one explores the nature of melancholia and introspection. A blend of electronic texture, direct beat and underlying propel; simmering with ghostly guitars and Sanchez’s haunting vocals, ‘Párpados Morados’ fills one’s chest in it’s glaze of heavy repetition, the resting of one textural layer as each moment passes. A beautifully woven web of genre, the reverb drenched tremolo of post-rock and the nature of it’s emotional intensity intertwines with spirited, valiant walls of layered chord union of shoegaze – to the powerful riffs amongst the gloaming of nostalgic drone; concluding the album in it’s identity.
The nature of Pasar de las Luces glows with pensive textural traverse; an intimate sound in which the truth of oneself feels buried within the chest, the heartbeat to be clutched tenderly; contrasting with the impulsive let go of being. Mint Field, the immersion into introspection; create a world molded as the moon, a glimmering yet distant outsider of the lightness // heaviness of the self. Watching the theatre show of existence. A submerge into charismatic glaze and introverted shimmering melodies, engulfing layers of distorted fuzz and theatrics; exploding stars in thrill and their lay to rest and scatter. Pasar de las Luces allows the listener to float in the deepest blue of ocean currents, facing toward the stars; and falling, hands stretched outward and grasping – into the sky.
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