Under Review

Secret Mommy

The Mall

Ache Records

Review By Nathan Pike


Vancouver’s Andy Dixon returns with yet another experimental passage of sounds set to clicks, pulses and warm chunky fart-like tones made musical. The Mall is technically a field recording of Dixon’s wanderings through a local mall, which is later chopped, sliced and diced and blended to create a rather listenable piece of music. Comprised of eight movements that blend into each other, The Mall is a landscape of emotive tunes that remind one of the Books, Brian Eno or Mr. Projectile, only more subdued.

The journey begins in an upward-moving elevator. The doors open and you are drawn into the ambience of the human beehive where we buy things en masse. Feet pad past, voices lilt and ring about and money changes hands. With this musical mosaic you are taken to a place quite different than where “normal” music can take you. After a few minutes of ambience, the electronic manipulations kick in more soundly and the flight begins, all the while snippets of dialogue and mall sounds filter through, bringing you back to earth and the present.

For a field recording set to music this is surprisingly easy to enjoy. Spazzy electronic music can be a tough pill to swallow, but I find myself grooving and weaving to this short but sweet bit of tuneful low-key ambiance. Who would have thought that IDM/glitch and a day at the mall would fit so well together?