Circulatory System

Mosaics Within Mosaics

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Whether working with Olivia Tremor Control or Circulatory System, psychedelic songwriter Will Hart has always embraced a fragmented approach to pop music. His records were often broken up into short chunks of Beatles-inspired melodies, airy chamber pop, and found-sound samples weaving together like tiny patches into a larger audio quilt. Studio albums were often supplemented with companion pieces that strung together audio collages of remixed material, demos, and scraps not used in the proper albums. Appropriately titled third album Mosaics Within Mosaics takes Hart's puzzle-piece collage technique to unseen heights, collecting 31 tracks of home recordings dating as far back as 2002, going deep into the vaults of the band's early days to present a beautifully layered pastiche of constantly changing moods and sounds. In other hands, keeping such a collection even remotely listenable would be a challenge. Hart and friends (who on this album include members of Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and numerous other Elephant 6 players) manage to deliver these choppy, shifting tunes with a natural flow, even when gears switch instantly from burning mantra-like '60s popsike like "If You Think About It Now" into ambling acoustic numbers like "No Risk." The songs are often bridged by various numbered instrumental pieces, and though these synth experiments and wayside explorations of uncommon instruments are the least vital tracks on the album, their inclusion breaks up what could otherwise be a tiresome barrage of melody. By this album, Hart had been perfecting his brand of strange, wonderful indie rock for over 15 years, producing some extremely noteworthy records in the process. Listening to tunes like the wah-wah-doused "Tiny Planes on Canvas" and the dazzled "Stars and Molecules," it becomes easy to hear Hart's influence on psyched-out melodians like Of Montreal, Animal Collective, and others who followed in the footsteps of Circulatory System. Mosaics Within Mosaics may be the project's most ambitious sonic scrapbook, but its masterful presentation makes its cornucopia of found-sound indie micro-symphonies float by gracefully.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:04 Amazon
2
2:57 Amazon
3
1:20 Amazon
4
1:54 Amazon
5
1:17 Amazon
6
1:26 Amazon
7
4:24 Amazon
8
1:34 Amazon
9
0:52 Amazon
10
2:10 Amazon
11
1:42 Amazon
12
2:10 Amazon
13
1:37 Amazon
14
3:29 Amazon
15
0:52 Amazon
16
1:05 Amazon
17
1:59 Amazon
18
2:00 Amazon
19
2:47 Amazon
20
1:17 Amazon
21
1:55 Amazon
22
2:36 Amazon
23
3:05 Amazon
24
0:36 Amazon
25
1:22 Amazon
26
0:55 Amazon
27
2:39 Amazon
28
1:59 Amazon
29
1:57 Amazon
30
2:05 Amazon
31
1:33 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick