This photo of Matthewdavid is from the cover of 2014s In My World, but it is too cute not to use.
This photo of Matthewdavid is from the cover of 2014's In My World, but it is too cute not to use. Brainfeeder

Matthewdavid's Mindflight, "Marimbza" (Longform Editions)

I know it's asking a lot to expect you to give your undivided attention to a 59-minute track while the world slouches into a slow-motion apocalypse. The nerve of me. But I present Matthewdavid Mindflight's "Marimbza" in the spirit of emotional uplift and mental/physical healing.

New Age never really died; it simply received a 21st-century image makeover, and in this decade it's become quasi-hip—and you know, some of the new stuff in this realm is actually very good. Case in point is LA musician/composer Matthew David McQueen, who emerged out of the left-field beatmaking world of Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label. But with albums like Trust the Guide and Glide and Ophiuchus, Matthewdavid (and his Mindflight) has eased his way out of the club and slinked into the ashram; instead of getting busy, he's getting centered and meditative.

"Marimbza" obviously relies on the lovely percussion instrument the marimba for its timbral mesmerism. Played with a certain restraint, it produces one of the most tantalizing yet relaxing sounds in the world. Matthewdavid deploys the marimba here—albeit "generative re-sampled MIDI marimba"—as a generator of gently clacking icicle tinklings. He fills in the stereo field with tranquilly swelling aquatic whorls of ambience and field recordings that seep into your ears like essential oils from a massage therapist's skilled fingers. Matter of fact, I recommend that said healers put "Marimbza" into heavy rotation in their practices.

This is one of those pieces that could theoretically run all day and replenish your consciousness and overworked synapses without flagging. Matthewdavid says, "[T]he music I'm making currently is free-flowing and potentially endless," and he's not wrong. For ambient music, "Marimbza" is quite eventful and its tonal palette retains vibrancy throughout. You can hear why he thanks Laraaji on the Bandcamp page.

A word about the label releasing Marimbza, the Sydney, Australia-based Longform Editions. It specializes in "creating a space of musical discovery for extended, immersive music pieces from around the world." Longform's dedication to fostering deep listening over long durations is commendable in this era of diminishing attention spans, and its recent spate of releases includes Midori Hirano's Improvisation for Piano in Summer 2018, Yamaneko's Aquarius Echo Chamber, and Monolithic Nuance by former Seattle musician Cruel Diagonals. The series also has included Itinerant Pattern by Seattle synth great Norm Chambers. You should follow its developments.