Psychic Ills – Mirror Eye

The Social Registry

The words “mesmerizing” “psychedelic” “trippy” and “drugged-out” all make more than a few appearances in reviews of Psychic Ills’ critically lauded debut Dins and its accompanying live shows. While all these adjectives apply to the swirling sonic journeys these New Yorkers deliver with the release of the band’s second proper full-length it’s time to add one more: ambient.

Brian Eno once described ambient music as “a part of the ambience of the environment just as the colour of the light and the sound of the rain." Listening to Mirror Eye it’s easy to lose track of the album entirely to any myriad distractions. That is not to say that the record is a bore — in fact it’s anything but.

Tracks like album-opener “Mantis” with its repetitive drones and subtle hand percussion are crafted with an ear for such minute detail and slow sprawling change that listeners are almost forced out of the music and into their own headspace right from the moment they drop the needle. Even some of the album’s noisier moments such as the driving assault of the aptly titled “Sub Synth” and the sharp tone stabs of “I Take You as My Wife Again” don’t pull the listener from their trance. While so many in the ambient music genre use quiet washes to accomplish this effect Psychic Ills’ mastery of nuance and slow build allows them to use drums noise synthesizers and vocals to create one of the most sonically interesting ambient records in the genre’s history.