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Mike Wexler – Dispossession

on March 09, 2012, 7:59am

Mike Wexler may not be of this time, or any other, for that matter. Dispossession, Wexler’s second full-length and his Mexican Summer debut, is definitely a “Where did this thing come from?” type of record. And though the answer is obviously not as peculiar or interesting as you might desire, for a record as utterly enigmatic and transient as Dispossession, more occult conclusions could also be argued. I’m not fully convinced Wexler is more than a wandering spirit.

Dispossession exists on its own plane of acid-washed semi-wakefulness. Throughout its short-lived daze, Wexler’s nasally hum drifts along waves of curling synthesizers, galloping bass drums, the occasional horn and drum ripple, and crawling fingerpicking. It’s a directionless map of haunting, shamanistic hymns with free jazz and post-rock. Its unintelligible lyrics are drooled out over lush hypnotics: dissonant strings, climbing piano, sliding bass, and howled, nearly unintelligible, whispers.

The thing sounds like a Mars sunrise getting high off paint fumes–like Kevin Ayers, Wendy Carlos, Roy Harper, Syd Barrett, Robert Wyatt, Brightblack Morninglight, Talk Talk, and Dan Bejar pulling an all-nighter on the crust of a stoner’s eyelid. Describing individual songs feels pretty superfluous, since the thing flows and drifts so elegantly and seamlessly. I will say that the incessant tom hits, jaunty keystrokes, and ascending, recurring breakdowns of “Prime” carry the most weight on a record with a deliberate lack of any gravitational pull.

But really, this is a record to fall asleep and wake up to at the same time, and listening to it in pieces would really be beside the point. After it’s all done, it’s difficult to put a finger on what made it so awesome. It’s a dream you can’t remember but pray for every night. Ladies and gentleman, we are floating in space, and Mike Wexler is somewhere way off in the distance, gargling some ayahuasca and gesturing for you to join him… you think.

Essential Tracks: “Lens”,  “Prime”, and “Liminal”

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