By Gentle Mystics
Oh dear, I thought as I read that Gentle Mystics are a folk, electro, jazz, drum and bass, hip-hop, dub and trip-hop fusion band; this is going to be yet another case of a group attempting to blend far too many genres together and ending up with a horrible yellowy-brown kind of sound that no one in their right mind would possibly want to hear, and listening to the album is going to be like spending an evening tied to a chair in Pablo Escobar's basement- very unpleasant indeed.
But thankfully, for the first time in 23 years, my assumptions turned out to be very, very wrong. Gentle Mystics have somehow managed to incorporate all of these styles- and believe me, they are all in there- into a wonderful work of eclectic art. Even the half-instrument, half-monster cartoon characters on the album cover cannot prepare you for the insanity, the beauty and the joyous sounds you are about to experience.
The albums finest moment probably has to be 'Mushroom 30,000'; it shows off everything that is great about Gentle Mystics; the carefree song writing, their exceptional instrumental skills, Noemie Ducimetiere's endearing voice, and just a general sense of fun and excitement with a think-outside-the-box philosophy.
One thing that did disappoint me a little about this record though was the amount of short instrumentals between what most of us would define as 'full' songs, in fact, only 8 out of the 14 tracks on the album could be described as such, this takes away more than it adds by breaking up the main body of work and risks having the listener becoming bored or disinterested.
I've tried to paint you a picture of the Gentle Mystics sound, but because it's so original and so diverse, I guess the best word to describe them as is, well, indescribable. Maybe Amy Winehouse's music would have been somewhat similar if she had grown up in the circus, or if No Doubt were heavy LSD users their sound may have come close, but I suppose the only way to truly understand the absurdity and the madness is to go out and buy this record, and I really hope that you do because it's not every day that you discover a band with the talent and the vision to create something so spectacular.