Ben Lukas Boysen - Mirage
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Berlin based composer and producer Ben Lukas Boysen returns with his most progressive and shape-shifting work to date, the long awaited Mirage, on 1 May 2020 with Erased Tapes. The third album to be penned under his own name proceeding his Hecq moniker, Mirage follows 2013’s Gravity and the acclaimed 2016 full length Spells, a record as much admired by his peers as it was loved by fans that not only yielded remixes from Max Cooper and Tim Hecker, but also opened Jon Hopkins’ Late Night Tales compilation. As with Gravity and Spells, Ben has an array of musical guests adorning Mirage, including long time collaborator, Berlin based cellist and composer Anne Müller as well as Australian saxophonist and composer Daniel Thorne — for whom Ben wrote parts specifically, having heard his 2019 solo debut Lines of Sight. Lead track Medela features both and takes the listener on a kaleidoscopic journey that slides with ease across sonic terrains. By the end it’s difficult to tell what exactly was heard; “I wanted to experiment with blending these recordings with 100% artificial elements, often to points where an instrument becomes an abstraction of what it was and the musicians’ presence in the song is much more of an important DNA string in the song rather than an obvious layer.” Mirage, like its title suggests, feels like a sonic optical illusion — each piece containing sounds and techniques bent and processed to make them seem overexposed; the overly felt-y piano on Clarion, Daniel Thorne’s saxophone on Medela, the single note voice of Lisa Morgenstern splitting into different chords on Empyrean. It is detectable but also easily missed, like the double piano on Kenotaph that could be perceived as one, but is actually two pianos in two different rooms, separate countries even — one is digital while the other is acoustic.