Caural: Mirrors For Eyes

Caural's material and style are fabulously represented on Mirrors For Eyes, his second Mush full-length. Chicago-bred Zachary Mastoon isn't unique in spicing a plethora of sounds and styles into richly detailed, Daedelus-like settings but the results are highly personalized and immediately identifiable as his alone. A prototypical Caural cut is rooted in hip-hop, with a lush boom-bap base paired with a meaty synth bass line so phat it'd make Dabrye jealous (consider the subtly swinging “I Won't Race You” as proof). But Mastoon is no Mullinix clone, as Caural's left-field material contentedly inhabits an interzone between beat-based cuts and compositional collage. “Re-Experience Any Moment You Choose” might, for example, be rooted in boom-bap but the sparkling mass of sound and softly humming choir he layers over top shift the tune from the dance floor towards the listening lounge. Numerous guests appear (vocals by One AM Radio's Hrishikesh Hirway and Paul Amitai, and instrumental support by Jason Hunt), keeping things unpredictable and enhancing the disc's considerable scope. Thus, at disc's center, we hear in succession Don Rainwater adding drones to the tabla-fueled and drum-punch meditation “Hallucination Broadcast,” Chicago MC Racecar (Modill) draping easy rhymes over a relaxed funk-hip-hop pulse in “Transition Suite: Part 1 – Lady,” and dueling sax work by Stuart Bogie and Colin Stetson during the jazz-hop of the “Papillon” second part—the triad indicative of Mirrors For Eyes' ambitious reach.

December 2006