1 Mile North – Glass Wars

1 Mile North
Glass Wars

1 Mile North is the work of two men who combine their crafts to form hypnotic, slowly entrancing music that is perfect for those long nights when your mind wanders about aimlessly. This is indeed the definition of mental-mind music that captures and engages you to no end. It practically suspends your entire way of viewing the outside world around you while you’re indulged in its presence. There should be a sticker on the cover of this CD that warns of not operating heavy machinery or driving at night while listening to this record (but believe me, this is indeed a good thing). In addition, the band’s use of aesthetics (in album art and song titles) really fit quite nicely with the music they create. The duo throws the listener into a whole other dimension by weaving a tight craft of ambient, electronic, and traditional guitar-based melodies. Mostly utilizing minimalistic aspects, the music is somewhat simplistic but still remaining melodically complex enough to affect you on different levels at different times. In addition, the album lacks any type of percussion, which gives it a sparse feeling. The group consists of Jon Hills on electric guitar along with his partner in crime Mark Bajuk who crafts intricate accompaniment with his analog synths, adding drones and additional ambience to bring the band to another level. This is indeed music to enter another place and time, it’s music that wraps itself around you and begs to place you into a surreal environment.

The album starts with “New Clock,” a hypnotic number with simple harmonics repeating over and over in addition to a synth drone and a bass-filled guitar line. An additional guitar line comes into the mix, adding a new dimension to the soundscape. The song drags out but in a good way; this is indeed not music to make your day go by quicker, this is music to lay in bed and dream of other worlds or of other mysterious places you’ve never seen that might not exist. “Have a Good One What” is my favorite track off the record, starting with beautifully echoed delays in combination with analog synths. This takes place for quite awhile and builds slowly and gradually, adding other additional melodic guitar parts into the mix. When everything finally comes together, it leaves a sense of bliss and happiness in the listener’s mind but also causes spouts of melancholy and sadness.

“Parents Arrive” begins with a simple motif among repeated delayed synths that have a beating feel to them. Intricacies are present throughout the song but take their time in building up. Adding to the mysterious and eerie quality of the track is the fact that young children at a playground are sampled throughout the latter half of the soundscape. This is very reminiscent of the earlier work of Labradford. “Evil Architecture” is a great track that relies heavily on the use of harmonics repeating back and forth in addition to the sampling of an odd conversation by what sounds like astronauts conversing with one another. Eventually lead guitar parts come in and give the song memorable lines/hooks and transports the listener to another place in time. “Escorting Deep Waters” has a very oceanic feel to it with waves flowing in and out in the background among a repeated guitar part. It is a mysterious and darker number, making one contemplate one’s surroundings. “Man Rounds Corner” is the softest and darkest number on the record, using effective minor chords and melodies to capture a specific mood and feeling.

Overall, I’m quite pleased by 1 Mile North’s debut record. The fact that two people can make such interesting and effective soundscapes is impressive. By using effective aspects of minimalism, they’re truly able to take the listener somewhere he or she may not have been before. This is a place I’ve found that I might want to stay for awhile and have a look around before I go back. It may take awhile before you understand what they’re doing, but when you do you’re certainly under their spell. This is a wonderfully put together project in my opinion, and I look forward to hearing more from these guys in the near future.