My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Tue
    21
  • Wed
    22
  • Thu
    23
  • Fri
    24
  • Sat
    25
  • Sun
    26
  • Mon
    27
Lester Bangs Memorial Reading Oct 21, 2014 Grossmont faculty and alumni writers, along with special guests, read their original works of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in tribute to “America’s Greatest Rock Critic.” In Room 220 of Building 26. 54 other events on Tuesday, October 21
 
Fall Arts
Epic San Diego Museum of Art exhibition promises a textbook lesson in the evolution of modern works
Editorial
Kevin Faulconer’s likely to tack left on sustainability
Film
Adaptation of Patricia Highsmith novel tops our coverage of movies screening around town
News
With few specifics on who they were looking for, officers held the wrong man at gunpoint
Theater
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical leads our rundown of local plays

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

Mystery Cave drops cosmic beatscapes

Unannounced release provides an exhilarating surprise

By Jeff Terich
smoking1

The culture of digital music has increasingly allowed for more and more surprises and unannounced album drops from artists for whom new music is often treated as a headline event. We've seen it most recently with Beyoncé's self-titled "visual album," which she unveiled in late 2013 and, before that, with name-your-price full-length albums from the likes of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

John Christopher Harris II, aka Mystery Cave, doesn't exactly have the name recognition of Beyoncé or Radiohead, but that doesn't mean the unexpected release of his new 16-track album, titled DEEP_FIELD, doesn't deserve a similar kind of celebration. On Feb. 8, Harris quietly posted the album, the latest in a long series of digital releases, via his Bandcamp page, with only a Facebook announcement to spread the word. So, I'll go ahead and do my part: DEEP_FIELD is one hell of a pleasant surprise.

Since 2008, Harris has been self-releasing his electronic compositions via Bandcamp and limited-edition cassettes, but the beatmaker has achieved a new peak with his latest. Following the hallucinatory ambient grooves of Future Jurassic Age and the cosmic dub sounds of Red Tide//, both released in 2012, Harris homes back in on a more accessible, beat-driven approach reminiscent of San Diego veteran The Gaslamp Killer and Los Angeles producer Flying Lotus. And it consistently, uniformly jams.

In contrast to Mystery Cave's last couple of EPs, DEEP_FIELD features only two tracks longer than five minutes and a significant number that run their course well before hitting the three-minute mark. Brevity, it turns out, suits Harris nicely, the most impressive tracks here—like the heady "BLUE L ACE GEODE," the bouncy "BUILD ING BLOCKS" and the playfully psychedelic "A ME THYST"—reaching their conclusion long before growing redundant. 

Not that Harris is averse to going epic when the mood strikes. The mesmerizing "COSMIC C AT" is one of the most deeply layered tracks, building upon a simple foundation of loops before exploding into a galaxy of melodic twinkles. And "FLO ATING" unfolds even more slowly through its eight-minute duration, creating an even more subtle, but nonetheless gorgeous, progression. There's a lot of material on DEEP_FIELD, and, for that matter a lot to process, but it all sounds amazing. 

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close