As someone who has totally fallen for the darkened, psychotic electro space that MEZKO occupy, I was embarrassingly late to their party. Being Newtown based, I hardly had to go out of my way to catch them at a show, either.
Outside of my own oblivion, the duo have been gathering some serious attention with their sequence-driven, nightmarish electronic compositions since they started playing shows. A couple of singles later, with an EP due out this week, they finally slipped into my field of vision.
Boy oh boy, have I been missing out.
Enter the controlled chaos of MEZKO’s Polychronic, the sonic equivalent of being trapped inside a spine-chilling rave with no exit in sight.
Laura Bailey and Kat Harley are the two musicians we have to thank for MEZKO, multi-instrumentalists who perform on a mess of guitars, synths, drum machines and whatever else they can get their hands on. The result is a blacklit masterpiece, an amalgam of acid-tinged basslines, percussion that’s almost physical and demonic, yet inviting lyrical work.
It’s a sound that’s enjoying somewhat of a soft resurgence, realised in a few Aussie contemporaries such as Buzz Kull or Rebel Yell. Take HTRK announcing new tunes as further proof. A breed of dance music to soundtrack your most schizophrenic nightmares, some would wonder why people are a fan of these acts at all.
But amongst an Australian scene swollen by downtempo, glittering electronica that doesn’t seem to have a fucking care in the world, I’ll take a little sludge any day of the week.
Polychronic wears this intentional mania as a badge of honour, down to its very title. It’s a release that finds a melody in its own cacophony, and a magnetism in its own wickedness. Leading singles Everyone and Steady On are more than enough to lay down this statement, but the remaining EP tracks are a binding agent.
Title track Polychronic, although instrumental, is an instant favourite. Harbouring some of the release’s more complex percussion and clearly defined movements, it’ll rattle your cage in the best kind of way.
Without You is more cinematic, closing the EP with MEZKO’s premiere vocoder noodlings. It’s little more than a cheeky hook to add some Daft Punk flavour, but the real spine of this track comes in its driving rhythm, a concoction of bassline, guitars and percussion which doesn’t let go.
If you’re the kind of electronic music fan that avoids anything abrasive or industrial, Polychronic may not be for you. Whatever you choose to call MEZKO’s Frankenstein beatmaking, it’s not the kind which strives for popular appeal, and that’s its greatest strength.
On the other hand, if you’re the listener who prefers to have your ears blasted through a thundering PA in the dankest corner of a Marrickville nang den, you’ll think this EP is off the chain.
Basically, I’m some sort of fucking idiot for missing out on MEZKO so far. Consider me hooked.
Polychronic is out October 27th on Inertia Music. Catch MEZKO touring the EP:
Sat 28 Oct – House of Voodoo Festival – Proud Mary’s, Erina – Details
Sun 29 Oct – North Wollongong Hotel, Wollongong – Details
Sun 12 Nov – Newtown Festival – Camperdown Park, Newtown – Details
Fri 17 Nov – Polychronic EP Launch – Waywards, Newtown – Details
Thurs 23 Nov – Loop Project Space & Bar, Melbourne – Details