Mint: Out of Context
Rednetic Recordings

Murray Fisher's Mint electronic tracks, like that of many other Boltfish artists (Fisher co-owns the label), are crisp, cleanly produced, atmospheric, undeniably well-crafted, and perhaps a little too well-behaved. Beyond the commonalities, however, there's a certain something that separates Mint from his stylistic brethren. Maybe it's the subtle undercurrent of menace that threads through cuts like “Roman Triangle” on his Rednetic debut that gives it a heft missing from other like-minded releases, or perhaps it's the compositional finesse he brings to the EP's five originals. Instead of streaming monochromatically for five minutes, the melancholy electro of “Russian Doll,” for example, unfurls gracefully, slowly creeping towards a climax so delicately handled you could miss it before winding down in an equally-subtle denouement. Oddly, the stately “Future Automation” conjures impressions of barren Eastern European expanses, though that may be no more than an idiosyncratic personal response. Fisher gives his own “Coerce” a ‘Calcified' overhaul, exchanging the original's politeness for a considerably more aggressive persona—a direction he should pursue more often. At disc's end, Neytoda adds hip-hop flavour to an “Out of Context” overhaul that begins promisingly but lazily settles into a too-predictable run-on groove. Even so, Out of Context is a generous collection for an EP plus a decent representation of Mint's material.

June 2006