"Mosaic," released 2012 on the Dammerung Arts label, is a collaboration between Mathias Grassow and guitarist John Haughm of the metal band Agalloch. Don't worry, there's no heavy metal here (just some metal cowbells). It is pretty "heavy" music, though. Choice photo on the album cover of the Gobi or some such other desert snapped at nighttime gives a hint of the direction this album takes the listener. This is music for vast, desolate landscapes for sure.
Track 1, clocking at 7 minutes, combines an etheral electronic drone from Grassow with echoing bells and droney male choral voices low in the mix, setting up the desolation vibe to continue.
Track 2, at 16 minutes morphs from the first track into a more solemn and church-like atmosphere with organ-type drones (reminded me a lot of some Alio Die's recent liturgical explorations), echoing bell sounds, and strummed acoustic guitar chords from Haughm. Not your typical drone piece, but it works nicely.
Track 3, the longest at 22 minutes and the best track, fuses Grassow's drones with some really effective tribal percussion, flanged melodic electric guitars, and whispered voices.
I thought this album combined some really interesting ideas and thus this unlikely collaboration is a rousing success. My only complaint: at just under 45 minutes, I wished it had gone on longer! Recommended to Mathias Grassow fans definitely and those into the ambience of those dark shadowy realms.