[ah042] Mental Health Consumer - Same Places, Different Times
Label: Archaic Horizon
01. you're not going anywhere
02. bloom out of season
03. a mapped and filed life
04. as soon as we changed our minds, we met (live mix)
05. familiar streets and remembered faces
06. brave face
07. do you think you'll remember (live mix)
08. in the end, insects and dust (live mix)
09. late afternoon, latest November
10. the laying on of hands
11. a modest triumph
12. intersession promises
same places, different times is an album that deserves multiple listens. Whilst its variety of forms and colours is immediately gratifying, subsequent listens reveal further emotional and intellectual complexity. For this work appears to externalize the musings of a perceptive and self-aware individual, someone appraising their self and their circumstances.
The album doesn't hold back, immediately plunging us into an atmosphere of despair in the very first track. Hopelessness is soon replaced by a frantic beat-driven car-chase in which we are pursued by a threatening — and eponymous — vocal sample. "you're not going anywhere", given the album's title and the track's colour, is suggestive of personal unhappiness or stagnation, rather than a statement by a captor to his prey.
The mood lifts but doesn't fully recover until the nostalgic epic "familiar streets and remembered faces", which opens with beautifully uplifting guitar and piano loops set to gentle, perky beats. A few minutes in, though, and this air of positivity and happiness gives way to overbearing feelings of anxiety again. The observer is repeatedly distracted in this way throughout the piece, leaving the listener in a state of emotional ambiguity and in mind of their own past, social experiences.
The schizophrenic nature of the album is perhaps best understood, then, in the knowledge that moods ebb and flow, and that unease and paranoia can yield to feelings of elation and optimism. The underlying tone often appears to be one of anxiety, but the repeated return to balance, to feelings of contentment, suggests an understanding, and acceptance of, the cyclical nature of things, and faith that sunshine always follows a storm.
Thank you, Brian Ruskin, for an enjoyable and intriguing album.