For their debut LP together, Mic Mills and Furious Frank have been lured away from the Untzz Twelve Inch family with whom they are so heavily affiliated to release “The Three Palms” on Rory McPike (aka Dan White)’s Rhythm Works label. Having joined forces exclusively on a couple of occasions such as Go “Downtown/Go Kent Town” EP, the duo here build on the sound they established on their unreleased track Secret Iris, which was available for download on SoundCloud last year. The LP is a genre-bending journey, which twists and turns within the realms of acid, electro, house, breaks, glitch-techno. Whether you lie back and take in the album in its entirety, or select individual pieces, The Three Palms works equally well.
The first cut on the record catapults the listener millions of miles away into outerspace. Here, we are treated to the first taste of the Roland System 100, which will feature heavily on the record; adding rich and warm textures throughout. Layers of robotic beeps evoke the feeling of floating in a space ship, before transitioning into “Bess is on Acid”. A thumping kick drum is set against eerie and haunting synths which swell and deflate throughout the track; slowly building drama before falling back down to the steady groove of the bassline and kickdrum. It’s heady, hypnotic, and while it’s early days it’s already a standout on the album.
Deepspace9 takes the vibe up a notch, with layers of glitchy, broken beats, before Persian Palace gets off to a soft and soothing start until irregular percussion, echoey high hats and scatterings of piano build drama to create a piece of music that is reminiscent of a 90s sci-fi movie. Building on this mood, Bess Went to K Pax is a nod to the 1995 sci-fi novel by Gene Brewer, which tells the story of Prot, a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet. Emotive, groovy and spacey all at once, it’s a definite highlight of the album; with its minor chords that drift and whirl against the melancholic electric guitar and staccato high notes.
Reggae-esque rhythms characterise The Three Palms, with its lazy bassline hitting on the off beat and reverberating synths, which build a dreamy echo. There’s a switch to 4/4 rhythm about five minutes in, making for a surprising change in atmosphere. Scattered percussion adds a tribal flavour, before the wistful synths reintroduce themselves. With its many layers and contrasting elements that work together seamlessly, it makes a promising title track. As bookends to the LP, K Hole Surgery and Satori bring the album to a close with dreamy textures. It’s as if the listener has come fullcircle, again feeling as though you’re floating through outerspace or some kind of dreamscape.
The Three Palms takes a fairly new direction to the solo work of Mic Mills and Furious Frank, yet showcases the undeniably incredible talent of the duo as they stretch their legs and try their hands at something a little different. It’s experimental – but in a good way. As we’ve seen with other collaborations from the Untzz crew, they’re at their best when they work together. With an understanding of the importance of innovation, they’re known for pushing boundaries to create a fresh perspective that’s completely their own. The Three Palms is a testament to this progressive philosophy and is well worth a listen.
Buy The Three Palms LP HERE