Mindex has always had a flair for gradual evolution in sound design, but his newest collection of work firmly reminds us just how deep his rabbit hole goes. The Membrain EP boasts an ominous atmosphere drenched in meticulous audio experimentation. In addition to top-notch mix-down and mastering across the EP, the musical inflections and harmonies are indicative of a producer who’s as much focused on the intention of the music as he is on tearing through unsuspecting sound systems. The casual effervescence that was carried throughout his earlier catalog gives way for a sound that is far denser in its impact, and surprisingly visceral. The EP is being released through Time Resonance Music, owned and operated by Mindex himself. As with his previous release, the Eclipse EP, Threyda has partnered up with Mindex to release a physical, high-quality print of the mind-bending album artwork composed by frequent Mindex collaborator Archan Nair.
"Membrain" starts off the EP with a brain-busting interpretation of 140/70bpm system music. The interlocking synthesis melodies twist and wrap around one another as the wider sonic elements envelope all remaining stereo space. The mid-range bass tones are fresh relief from some of the more popular motifs at the moment, with Mindex instead capitalizing on harmonics and strong filter sweeps throughout the bass line. The drum line is the most straightforward aspect of the arrangement, but leaves no momentum behind.
"Erosion" elaborates further within the 70bpm spectrum, going for a slapstick rhythm that gradually turns over to include all manner of high-register percussive shuffles. The drums are easily the main force of the track, exuding the "glitch factor" that spices up electronic productions beyond their relative musical shelf lives. The low-end synthesis squeezes into the mix from whatever interstellar toothpaste tube it was born in, gurgling through the pockets of space left between massive juggles of snares and hi-hats. The subtle melodious elements flutter in and out of focus, creating a musical duality of frequencies simultaneously razor-sharp and round-edged.
"Cluster Overload" picks up the pace to around 80bpm, and is the sole mid-tempo song on the EP. Once again, the percussion takes the first spotlight, with smacks, crashes, and crumples darting back and forth throughout the composition. The melody synthesis is sparing and direct, carrying the arrangement through a musical journey that is entirely esoteric. On the other hand, the bass synthesis is gratuitous and constantly morphing into all manner of folds and slices. The elasticity of these mid-range tones has them blasting back and forth like a boomerang amongst the accompanying musical elements, and is the clear glue that reinforces the whole composition.
"Underconscious" closes the EP, slowing things back down a bit and sending the head-space into full hypnosis. The matrixed lead elements take on a droning phenotype, stretching and slaying along the rolled beat underneath. The bass designs are less erratic arrangement than in the previous tracks, with a more staid sonic presentation. The drum lines spurt upward and outward at the end of each phrase, coming to life in moments of musical turnaround and then receding back to the spacial floor of the mix.
Once again, Mindex leaves no sonic stone unturned in his elaborate experimentations and musical musings. For a character as reserved as Slava (Mindex), his music embodies a certain digital bravado that many others can't quite reach. When digesting the Membrain EP, be sure to take the whole thing in one shot, as the tracks have a (not so) curious way of blending right into one another for a seamless aural experience. For the fall, Mindex is currently slated to sling his talents at A Higher Halloween in Philadelphia, PA, for an annual halloween throwdown. If you're in the area, or you're feeling adventurous enough to seek it out from afar, make sure to find yourself directly in the prime vector of the sound system when he rises to the decks.