Toneshift on <em>Form</em>

Toneshift on Form

NZ-based Iranian sound/installation artist Mo H. Zareei, here as mHz, brings a new album (via SD card) with Form. To prepare for this I warmed with an opening act of some of Chic’s greatest funk jams. Now that I am loose, it’s time to tune in wide and focused. Of course this could not be more different than the previous, which makes for a serious sense of concentration on Zareei’s concentrated, austere simplicity. The scape is like a blank canvas with a thin line splicing down its center (see the op-art depicted on its cover for reference).

This is drone by frequency, bound by a sort of quasi, quantum mathematic scheme and its voluminous residual brightness. He is seemingly breaking patterns of metered-ness, punctuated by the nominal pace of Form B. I’m thrown back to some of the clicks/cuts and microsound of the early 00’s here, icy yet warm and worn. The minimalism of mHz is striking and coded, slightly animated in terms of production style that comes off like hard-edged collage here and there. And on Form D there’s a kinship to such works by, say, Byetone. The immediacy of the beat-flicker captures a contemporary take on dub, loosely defined.

Hardware rules in the vacant spaces, while lingering wavy drone harmonies lurk in all other crannies. His is an exacting, almost sobering melange of cadences, but just the listener may slip away, out comes the gentle thump of a track like Form B’ which tenderly escorts the body to meet the mind in the middle. With the rubber band bounce of Form C’ that may sound intermediate mHz manages to evolve into a conclusion that goes from a distant pounding into a sensible (and irrisistable) beat structure on the closer Form D’ – most definitely saving the best for last. This lil’ gem almost requires additional mixes and puts this gent on my map, and I suggest yours as well.

— TJ Norris via Toneshift