Album of the Day: Micronism, “Inside a Quiet Mind”

Trying to find out much about Micronism, aka Denver McCarthy, isn’t easy. The mysterious New Zealand electronic music act was part of a burgeoning ‘90s electronic scene in New Zealand after which he released two albums and was never heard from again. One of those albums, Inside a Quiet Mind, was initially released in 1998 on New Zealand label Kog Transmissions, which began as a collective of New Zealander electronic musicians who lacked other outlets to share their music. The other album, released under his name Denver McCarthy, was devoted to the gurus of Hare Krishna and won the Best Independent Album Release award at the 2000 BNet New Zealand Music Awards.

Micronism’s obscurity adds both weight and value to the reissue of Inside a Quiet Mind, which is available digitally and, for the first time, on vinyl through Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa. Touches of acid, breakbeat, and glitchy ambient abound, but the album never sticks to any one clear genre. Instead, Micronism uses genres as a tool, employing elements from dub techno, acid, house, and ambient to form a sound built for both introspection and movement. Floating synths, contemplative chords, and soft glitches create space to reflect, while heavy kicks and pads rouse and revive.

The track “First Reflections” falls into the latter category: the rhythm is steady and propulsive, and synths sparkle and flash like strobe lights in a dark room. “Restless Address” is moodier, drums reduced to a pinprick of sound, enveloped by mist-like electronics. The tracks are woven together, creating a single, seamless musical experience. Taken in full, Micronism has created a universe of energy and lightness—it’s an album just as effective in solo listening as it is on the dancefloor.

Su Baykal

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