N-Port (CD) Click for big pic
Laid-back classic - Two become one...
Ultimate chill factor
Mirror System's most lush flowering to date
If 'X-Port' hits the dead centre of the 'quality' target, which it most certainly does, then 'N-Port' splits that arrow in two - at times it reaches transcendental heights. Mirror System have long 'been of age' live and in DJ mode - here is the album which proves it.
The two words that bubbled up when listening to this album are organic and sensuous. Steve and Miquette long ago 'squared the circle' (if it was ever even an issue for them) of enabling largely digitally created music be deeply organic, on this release they take that sensibility to new levels, 'Far Journeys' and 'Blue Ocean' in particular are deeply gorgeous examples.
For lovers of Steve's guitar playing 'Love Machine' is home to probably some of the most beautifully poignant examples since 'Palm Trees (Love Guitar)' on the album 'Green', and it was all completed in one inspired take.
Intertwined with the up-lifting musical ambition are twinkles of artful quirkiness and musical humour in both the phrases used and the sounds created. This is pure Miquettte and is one of the key contributing factors to the album's warmth. With Steve and Miquette one senses underlying high musical aims or vision in play, but these are never austere or coldly intellectual, they are human and warm. This album's vibe and changes constantly entice, beguile and woo rather than overwhelm, which is exactly how it should be.
'N-Port' presents a real evolution of Mirror System, the deeper and more introspective side of the 'System experience' - a coming of age. It has a unique, dreamy, deep electronic house sound that oozes class and maturity. Featuring collaborations with Alex Paterson (of The Orb) on the rolling vibrant ambient 'spoken word' hip house deep groove 'Warn The West' and Jam El Mar (of Jam & Spoon) on the Balinese excursion 'Batu Bolong', which Jam has also contributed his own winning Remix on. Jam previously collaborated with System 7 on 2 tracks on the Phoenix album, including the wondrous 'Space Bird' track that was subsequently remixed by Dubfire.
After meeting Israeli techno-trance star Perfect Stranger (Yuli Fershat) at a festival in Panama last year, Mirror System champions his Perfect Stranger track 'Free Cloud' with their Remix which has been a staple in their Mirror System live sets for the last two years. 'Chic Psychedelic (N-Port Version)' slinky early set/early hours tech-tinged groove gets you moving and chill out in the sonic ambient waves of the guitar-flecked 'Blue Ocean' for a real Autumn warmer.
Track 1, 'Warn The West', is a collaboration with Alex Patterson. Tracks 5 and 9, 'Batu Bolong', are a collaboration with Jam El Mar. Track 8 is Mirror System's remix of 'Free Cloud' by Perfect Stranger.
The packaging is an elegant, enigmatic yet familiar design using metal foil printing on a gatefold digi-pak with a 4 page booklet.
Tracks: [73.18]Mirror System are