Mathias Grassow & John Haughm "Mosaic" CD
Wow, here is another collaboration that was held as a well kept secret, so the more surprised I was when this project came to light on Dämmerung Arts label. But I must say that Agalloch's John Haughm is not new in his ventures into drone realms as he already appeared on two tracks of Nostalgia's "Echoes From The Borderland", but this time his contribution is by far less rough, industrial-infused as it was on "Along Lands End" and "Dartmoor" tracks. Comprised of three "Mosaic" parts, the tracks clock from nearly 8 minutes (Part I) to 21 and half minutes (Part III). The journey is ignited with "Mosaic I", where deep, monotonous, but expansive drones by Mathias interact with John's shimmering tinkles of various bells. Graciously floating wordless chorals emerge as well and appear in precise synergy with drones and metallic fragments. Join this "Mosaic" and experience moments of pure magic!!! Gentle bells announce "Mosaic II", which smoothly moves through serenely mesmerizing drone leads into passages highlighted by pensive acoustic guitar mastery ranging from more quiet, but expressive into more elevating riffs, with few foreboding low noises inserted in between and all guarded throughout by celestial dronescapes. Static drifts, bells and distant rumblings invade the third and longest part of "Mosaic". Monotonously unfolding dronescapes are joined by ear-catching, eerie metallic squeaks, later on sorrowfully expressive electric guitar sneaks in and reaches absolutely harmonious convergence with deep drone wizardry and ghostly noises. During the second half gentle tribal percussion steal the show along with deeply mysterious whispers and voices. Definitely the most challenging composition of this "Mosaic" and a hugely immersing finale!!! "Mosaic" offers a highly sophisticated blend of majestic drone panoramas, filigree gothic doom-flavored strings and deeply mesmerizing metallic, tribal and voice magics. A truly magnificent sonic conversations of two virtuosos!!! On the top of that, the packaging of 4-panel digipak with 8-panel insert features absolutely stunning images of art photographer Veleda Thorsson, Agalloch's visual guru, gorgeously portraying this stellar sonic conspiracy!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jul 13, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)