this charming man

MOUTH - Vortex Redux LP

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Vortex was mostly recorded in 2011 and 2012 over five sessions in a small space where the band rehearsed. Material was pieced together intermittently over a period of 11 months with Chris Koller handling guitar, keys and bass and Nick Mavridis on drums. That's where it started. Two construction projects: the studio and a recording that would help define the course of the band in classic and melodic progressive rock, happening almost simultaneously in a creative meta-narrative that could easily stand as analog for the depth of pieces like “Into the Light ” or the sprawling “Vortex” itself, which opens the record (new and old editions) in an encompassing display of impulse and fluidity

Through experiments in atmosphere like “March of the Cyclopes” and toward the finish of “Epilogue,” Mouth married sounds that in other contexts would come up disparate, like finding a hidden magnetism between two north poles.

Most of the Vortex songs were created on the spot in the studio. There would be no way to know it at the time, but this process would result in a collection of songs with a broad range, within as well as between the component tracks.“Parade” taps Sly Stone on the shoulder and asks if he wants to party (he does), while the penultimate “Soon After…” resonates with its smoky, mellow-jazz vibe. “Vortex” itself happens over six movements and was put together across different sessions, while “Epilogue” happened in a day.

Dissatisfaction with the original mix – and when an album has as much put into its arrangements as Vortex, that balance matters – would lead Mouth to offer Out of the Vortex in 2020 as a collection of alternate versions of pieces like “Mountain” and “Parade ,” as well as the unreleased “Ready” and “Homagotago's Paddle Boat Trip,” the latter an apparent successor to a cut from Floating. But sometimes a thing nestles itself into the back of your head and just won’t leave, and Mouth’s pursuit of a finished Vortex would lead them into the studio again.