2009. Mystified is a pseudonym for Thomas Park, an ambient/electronic
musician who lives in the midwestern USA. He's been prolific under
the Mystified name as well as the Mister Vapor project, but this is
his first release with Hypnos Secret Sounds. Most recently, Mystified
has collaborated with Nunc Stans on a release "One Thousand
Dreams" on the Dataobscura label, and he has previously collaborated
with Robin Storey (Rapoon) and Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions).
One of the things we enjoy at Hypnos is helping expose listeners to artists
they may not have heard before, and that includes even artists whose work has been
released widely on a variety of labels. The work of Mystified, while elsewhere
working with more pronounced electronic rhythms, here emphasizes deep, slow-moving
textures. Primal Mystification includes subtle and restrained percussive
elements but is definitely geared toward the listener who loves deep, thick drone work.
Mystified himself says of this recording:
"Primal Mystification emerged from drone sounds, similar to the way we humans
emerged from the primordial ooze. Oscillating ambient bell washes were created using
field recordings and mystical effect processes, and then simple rhythmic and melodic
phrases evolved from the primal material. Sometimes there is a change or development
in the rhythmic material, and always there are changes in the drones, behind, as they
shift and flow. Primal Mystification is a musical union of form and formlessness."
Hypnos Secret Sounds brings you Primal Mystification, our first release by Mystified.
Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
01 > massive turning > 14:58 > mp3
02 > departing certainty > 13:26 > mp3
03 > not knowing where > 10:30 > mp3
04 > back to the primal > 11:22 > mp3
Link to a YouTube videos including music excerpts:
Track 3, "Not Knowing Where" here
Track 4, "Back to the Primal" here
“Primal Mystification alternately conjures thoughts of settling in for the sleep of machines in the sub-
rumble of a boiler room; the aurora borealis toying with the audible spectrum; alien conquerors come to claim their
stake – our echoing fear; finally cracking the door to the secret spirit realm; the day that machines gain sentience
and blink up at their gobsmacked creators; and a group of motherless children beating out a post-apocalyptic drum
circle in desperate hope.
Truly, a sonic headphone journey that removes one far from the physical. Perfect for the Hearts of Space radio
--Byron Kerman, freelance reviewer
"The unbelievably prolific Thomas Park returns to us once again with a rather lovely full-length offering (as Mystified) on Hypnos Secret Sounds--’Primal Mystification’. Mr. Park’s more free-form (or perhaps it is more appropriate to refer to it as “formless”? I refrain from using the genre terms “ambient“ or “drone” as they have been over-referenced for decades) work often touches on something powerfully inexplicable and nebulous--magickal. This particular release would be no exception.
The album starts out with a piece entitled ‘Massive Turning’. It’s a bit deceptive if one thinks they have the Mystified sound pegged--as one expects gassy, shimmering atmospheres. It delivers just that…only it is coupled with an organic percussion that is unheard to me in the work of Mystified! An instrument such a tabla would have been too obvious, so what sounds like bongo is appropriate and more enthralling. Layered along with these sounds are also piano chords. ‘Massive Turning’ seems to be literal--a massive turning POINT in the direction stylistically. And it works like a charm.
Next is ‘Departing Certainty’. And that it certainly is--a departure from the banalities of life into an almost hallucinatory, emotional transcendence. The piece feels like walking in someone else’s shoes of their past , blurred and fading melancholia.
‘Not Knowing Where’ is the apex for this gem of a disc. This is the most potent track of all--and the one I am the most familiar with (seeing that I produced the video for it). Every time I hear it I get the sense of being lost BLISSFULLY in the cosmos…but full of wonder. Music for lysergic inner-space travel.
Concluding this release is ‘Back to the Primal’. Despite an almost “electronic feel” at times, it is re-entry music for returning to the mundane tribe/masses perpetuated by consensus reality--the primal of the flesh prison we are born into. Or is it vice-versa? Either way, it is a trip beyond this world (and beyond genre traps) you wish would NEVER end! But until we leave this mortal coil and its restraints of the physical body, it is only possible to touch on these realms with the aide of such ART as that of Mystified..."
--Reviewed by Allan Zane, musician and video artist, Jan 5, 2010