Mezzanine Swimmers Black Cat in Heat

[Already Dead/Fire Talk; 2018]

Styles: pop, industrial, lofi, cold wave, punk, hip hop
Others: Profligate, PC Worship, Macula Dog, Guerilla Toss

Clips, flips, switches, and breaks writhing with a steady thump, it’s oddly seductive and tasteful. Mezzanine Swimmers, solo project of Mike Green, is poised with a relationship to the loop that assumes stasis until hitting a switch. Green builds form by pushing through repetitions, layering hooks and auxiliary themes, working the sampler. He draws from primary sources (blown-out synths, whining circuits eating their own, incidental noise, an English rendition of a Brazilian classic), maintaining aesthetic unity through the manipulation of secondary motifs, vertical arrangement, and vague, obfuscated vocal gestures. Building it up and breaking an elegant and powerful stasis, that’s the joy, his language.

Green adopts the work of producers before him and interprets it through the jump-cut that harsh noise presupposes. He draws the beat flip toward the jump scare but stops short of the horror that others have achieved through a similar pairing. (Yeezus took cinematic cues to fabricate horror through narrative sculpting and abrasion [“How much do I not give a fuck? Let me show you right now before you give it up”; he sweeps the beat out from under us, undoing our sense of expectation and gratification]. clipping. opened their 2013 debut midcity with a deliberate attack: a steady ominous swell, a proclamation (“it’s clipping bitch”), and a discordant blast of noise; the latter element is subsequently reiterated and lastly undermined within that same “intro.” Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition uprooted our sense of a unified cast and crew, jarring us as we got lost in it. Brown’s face is disfigured on his own cover with more vibrance and clarity but a similar affect to the cover at hand.)

Black Cat In Heat lacks the fidelity and concept that makes its hip-hop predecessors spectacular. A drowned-out figure in the wash, the uncanny undoes its horror. Green buries forms and personae in the murk of the cassette underground: a cloudy off-kilter disposition rooted in the Midwest, a document of sound and process, circumstantial art, the coming together of elements, a part in the bigger show. Forms and arrangements are learned, and adept, precise, glimmering ear worms are so faintly etched in stone. They shy away from the mythology and spectacle that may generate a more profound effect but represent a humbled grassroots darkness, totally fun. Black Cat In Heat looms like the shadow of a deliberately compromised hit factory.

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