The Electric Nature – Mount Analogue (2xC40[?], MABA Tapes)

Reviewed in digital form.

Mount Analogue is a double-cassette release from psych freakout guitarist and noisician Michael Potter of The Electric Nature. After the success of Space Face, the project returns with this ambitious recording on MABA Tapes, the details of which seemed to have been lost to the decay of time and Internet web pages. Fortunately, The Electric Nature’s Bandcamp has a stream of this near-90 minute release of lo-fi guitar drones and live band compilations.

The first cassette, especially the first side, features a few lazy hazy drones of guitar work from Potter, psychedelic tracks of plodding chords and chillwave-type music that, while nicely nuanced and interesting during their playthroughs, tend to run together as variations on a theme. It’s when the cassette flips to Side B, with the side-long jam “Greater Square Collective,” where things get really interesting. The piece is a compilation of live collaborations between jam bands, guitarists, and collectives, and despite at first seeming as though the entire idea might waver on the tendency for Electric Nature to sound very similar during all of these samples, the compilation works due to a fantastic editing job that highlights each of the pieces and drones into the next. With only a few junctures that don’t entirely mesh, this live piece is a perfect example of the eclecticism of The Electric Nature’s work.

The second cassette is the better of the two overall, its tracks a nice compliment to each other ranging from dirty guitar drones (“Dungeon”) to guitar jams similar to the first tape (“Night Vision”), with a couple of noisier tracks as well (“Vortex/Halo”). The swirling mess of sound Electric Nature collages together is intoxicating, often going much further than simple guitar drone and layering on thick strands of fuzz and pedal distortion. Again, this tape’s second side features a lengthy side-long piece in the titular “Mount Analogue,” which is, as its title suggests, an audible use of analog. Manipulated electronics buzz and feed back, occasionally breaking out into guitar jams or drones that are compiled similarly to “Greater Square Collective.”  It doesn’t work as well, as it’s a bit messily edited, but the droning psych jam that spans much of the song is intense and climactic enough to overlook those qualms.

If you’re a fan of lo-fi, ’60s guitar psychedelia akin to the current progression of chillwave right now, this double-cassette from Electric Nature is for you. There’s some quality work to be had here, a complex and expansive album of drones that showcase Michael Potter’s axe skills and the fogginess of dream-drenched ideas.

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