The Stargazer’s Assistant - Mirrors and Tides, Shivers and Voids (CD Zoharum)

In recent years, the usual rule of thumb for reissues is from CD or cassette to vinyl. For the reissue of ‘Mirrors and Tides, Shivers and Voids’ by The Stargazer’s Assistant it’s the other way round. While this might feel like another pointless reissue it is actually a cause for celebration. 

Firstly ‘Mirrors and Tides, Shivers and Voids’ is a fantastic piece of art. Throughout its 55-minute duration David J. Smith, Antti Uusimaki and Mika Rättö deliver one of the best scores for a film that doesn’t exist. Intricate melodies are interwoven with stark synths and chilling percussion. Smith is actually playing the late Finnish jazz drummer Edward Vesala’s Sound & Fury collection of unique metal percussion. This junk ensemble evokes the feeling of watching clouds float past, the disorienting flickering of a naked bulb in a room late at night and the vastness of a new page in a notebook. As with the original release the standout track is ‘The Dream Kingdom’. The difference is here everything flows into it seamlessly. Before you listened to that side of vinyl before having to get up and turn it over. Now you press play and for just under and hour you are taken on a swirling and undulating odyssey.  

Originally released in 2013 on double 10”, ‘Mirrors and Tides, Shivers and Voids’ is given a CD release for the first time. This feels like something that should have happened before. It remains one of the strongest, if not the strongest, release that The Stargazer’s Assistant has put out. There is literally no filler on this album. Everything is just precise and measure perfectly from the opening moments of ‘Coral Butterfly’ to the ethereal drones on ‘The Dream Kingdom’. It just works. Normally CD reissues don’t really add much to the listening experience, but here everything just run smoothly for 55 minutes giving the songs, and the running order, new meaning. NR.

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