If an audacious enough director were to scoop up “The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2)” and lay it atop a low-lit sequence in his glossy new film, accompanying images of powerful machinery, great cities at dusk, or exotic copper-skinned dancers in a hall of mirrors (as the song suggests), The Haxan Cloak might start to look like an even darker sibling to Johnny Jewel’s Chromatics. Listen to the entirety of The Haxan Cloak’s upcoming Excavation, however, and stark differences emerge. Excavation tends to function largely in loops and meditation; “The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2),” with its forward momentum, represents the album’s exception rather than the rule. Whereas Johnny Jewel has now, for better or worse, been married to the image of a car’s odyssey in the night, The Haxan Cloak’s music feels much closer to spelunking. Hence the title, Excavation!
All said, at over 7 minutes, “The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2)” does achieve an expansiveness and transportive hypnosis that would stand out on any album, regardless of that album’s mood or mode of movement. Although the album features a journey of descent, this track is akin to coming up for a breath; as it amasses layers, amounting to a finale of melodic bursts, it’s like a headful of crisp nighttime light and air.
Excavation will be released in North America April 30 from TriAngle Records.