Marc-E leans on twisting musical stories of psychedelic electronica on his new album, Catharsis.
Vancouver-based Psybient/Downtempo musician Marc-E shows off his well-thought-out song structures on his new album, Catharsis. Using both live and electronic techniques to create vibrant musical words of nature, menace, brightness and wonder, Marc-E builds music that is easy to get lost in.
Acceptance starts the record in fine, psychedelic fashion, as meditative bells chime and a dreamy atmosphere is built up around settled piano and hand drums. Electronic beats then slowly slide in as bass fills out the sound and thickens the atmosphere. It shows just how well Marc-E can construct songs and points to what to expect on the following tracks.
After the brief, distorted malice and running water sounds of Virtue of Isolation, we’re then thrown into the twisting, electronic menace of Seed of Faith. It rises and falls amongst breaks and beats as a sitar-esque sound and hauntingly subtle choir-like background vocals build an atmosphere that is intriguing and hard to resist.
Marc-E’s talent in structuring songs is clear to see throughout the record, managing to build stories without vocals through the music alone. Dreamtime is a testament to this, feeling like you’re lost in the Australian outback or a dark rainforest with danger all around, before settling into an electronic groove of monotonous flows and elongated synths. Surrendering to Now once again relies on nature sounds to build a flow, but this time in a more ethereal, pleasant manner that feels euphoric and sublime. It gently opens the heart and reveals a beauty that the album needs amidst all the dark (yet wonderful) escapades previously experienced. The record ends on Full Armour, bringing us back to a literal stormy atmosphere that this time clears away to sunny flows and electrifying guitar work to round off the record in an interesting fashion.
Catharsis by Marc-E is an ever-evolving journey through psychedelic electronica, a journey where you never know what to expect around the corner. Despite a couple of areas where some might feel the order of the songs could be amended to help the flow a little more, the interesting mix of changes between dark moments and bright revitalisations shows a songwriter that knows how to manipulate music in great ways and build interesting stories.