There are still so many great albums in the dock for 2023, it’s a wonder when there will ever be time to wrap up and reflect. Not anytime soon around here, that’s for sure, and why look back when the future flay of Mirage is on the speakers? Important brings a vital collaboration between two psychedelic luminaries, and one of the last documents of Silver Apples’ Simeon Coxe, who died just shortly after its recording. Mirage finds Coxe in collaboration with Acid Mothers Temple’s Makoto Kawabata. The pair aren’t fenced in by their legacies, but for fans of both the Apples and the Acid’s there’s lots to love here. The first cut is a pure distillation of both, with a hypnotic pulse thrumming throughout “Dragonfly’s First Flight.” Coxe brings the motorik pulse, expanding to let synths ripple through with a rainbow sheen that reflects light like fluorescent flickers in pools of oil. Kawabata’s guitars weave through the auditory debris with a slight slickness as well — still free and fuzzed, but nowhere near as damaged as they are on “Abduction of the Guilty.”
The intro to the B-side slides listeners more squarely into Mothers territory, with elements of freaked and fraught guitar lines working their way to the forefront. The Apples’ spaciness dissipates on this cut at first, but then returns to consume Kawabata’s storm in a flood of signal-born psychedelics. Things slip even further from expectations on the album’s title track, a sonic womb that finds both players in spoken word wonderment, staring off into the blinking quasars at the edge of the universe. The album returns to the fold of Silver Apples to close it out, a fitting form for one of Coxe’s last. It feels like a lost track that’s been clipped off an earlier work, just now finding a home among the froth. A heady record that’s built for deep meditation and just a touch of sonic exfoliation. If you’re familiar with the players, then the expectations should be set, and in turn, met quite handily.
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