Second Seasons's new album Mb Um E is, at its core, an emotional journey: an artist’s road to recovering himself after losing his two brothers. This record is here to entrance, hypnotize, and envelope you in glowing, chasmic arrangements. The album contains two songs that I would consider vocally driven, and the rest is mainly pure musical digital fulmination of chaotic, sometimes discomforting, nuanced, and unceasingly beautiful portraiture of a person healing.
Some of the songs on the record are surprisingly akin to dance music. 2d-A, 2d-A comes to mind, its stuttering drum machines, broken synth samples, and incredibly rhythmic FM sounds scratching the speakers against your ears in harsh, perfect cadence. They pan from left to right chaotically, juxtaposing track &f-El, where Seasons pinpoints his rhythms around you with surgical precision. His creative versatility is on full display.
Sometimes, this danceability can juxtapose a bit with some of the more contemplative, shoegazey tunes like Ccri, whose gorgeous drop sounds better in isolation from the previous track’s loud groove. The mixing intensity does not detract completely from the absolute grace possessed in the music. The track isolated sounds impeccable, with saturated drum sounds almost fizzing into life with this never-ending cavernous echo ringing in the background throughout.
One thing that really stands out about this record is Second Seasons’s sound design choices. The proficiency in his equipment is undeniable, with insanely layered textures and broken rhythms created in a way that could only be human. Much of the music is undeniably programmed, but it is clearly done with meticulous particularity. And there are real instruments on this record as well, providing a balanced combination of digital and analog sound. These parts are unforgettable; the undeniably clever piano riff from Lav-At comes to mind, whose three notes provide endless space to exist, harmonically speaking.
The record is, overall, incredibly strong. Second Seasons’s innovation and songwriting ability definitely display him as a force to be reckoned with here. There are issues with the record’s mixing at times, with some vocals being drowned out by synths and reverb to the point where they become difficult to hear, lyrically. Its a shame because the melodies on display portray an incredibly deep melancholy, and he has an absolutely beautiful baritone, with such an emotional performance. Thankfully, the sound design, arrangement, and harmonic and rhythmic experimentation provide for a musical bed that provides absolute transcendence and musical therapy.
Click on the links below to listen to Mb Um E on: