SPELLLING: Mazy Fly (Sacred Bones) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Mazy Fly

Sacred Bones

Mar 13, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

SPELLLING, aka Chrystia Cabral, Sacred Bones’ new radical star, is full of extraterrestrial vibes. Mazy Fly, Cabral’s second album, is total ‘80s, but also The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, or a more fucked up version of The Sound of Music. Actually, Mazy Fly is nothing I have ever heard before. SPELLLING (not sure about the three Ls) is an alien wizard, wildly galloping, but somehow controlled, at the meeting point between the adventure of exploration and the horror of destruction.

The 42 minutes of Mazy Fly was made with a Roland Juno-106 synthesizer. Built in the early 1980s, the Juno-106 was the third release in the Juno series. It has 36 keys, knobs to the left and across the top; it’s an analog, six-voice polyphonic, subtractive synth that is simple, but produces savory soundscapes. SPELLLING probably used the onboard stereo unit to make her vocals soar as the pulse poundslabelmate Zola Jesus might have a spiritual friend. The Juno-106 has a 24-decibel (dB) low-pass filter, which provides definite, deep sonic power. The 16 Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) channels and portamento function allow Cabral to slide from one pitch to another; she can store up to 128 pieces of information on her Juno-106. Mazy Fly is a winged spirit, an album constructed from a synth system that seems to be enamored by chemical trails to the cosmos.

While some tracks (“Golden Numbers”) sound straight out of the Juno-106, some do not. “Real Fun” is a nutty affair, almost turning into a metal song, and the drums sound organic on “Hard to Please (Reprise).” Also, there are horns (“Melted Wings” and “Afterlife”) that bring a balance to the spacial weirdness happening on Mazy Fly. SPELLLING should be making music for scary movies, but her voice is unearthed in beautiful lullaby. Cabral’s compositions go to the heart.

The Guardian recently said that SPELLLING is “like Solange looking in a haunted mirror,” and since Solange just released a new LP, we’ll agree with that. Cabral told Bandcamp that she has had alien encounters through vivid dreams, keeping a dream journal for six years, and feeling “abducted” twice. With the sun blasting straight through the window to the eyes, Mazy Fly is the celestial abductor. (www.spellling.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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March 14th 2019

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