Like all great art, music is subject to the experiences and proclivities of those witnessing its birth. And for music whose aim isn't simply to provide light entertainment, this subjectivity becomes all the more important. Certain strains of electronic music (most notably noise and drone) have a tendency to be labeled as difficult or harsh—and though it may be true that certain artists purposefully challenge their audiences in terms of how shrill or cacophonous they're willing to go, other musicians simply allow their music to echo off our musical expectations and unfurl into strangely beautiful, and occasionally disturbing, fragments of sound.
For Chattanooga artist Luna Mitchell (AKA Torschlusspanik), electronic music isn't harsh, challenging or difficult—it's an extension of her natural rhythmic tendencies. Under this moniker, she channels wildly imaginative and fragmented emotional melodies that reach deeply into our collective consciousness and reveal the dark recesses that we often choose to ignore. Filled with shadows and melodies, her work demands your full attention. Torschlusspanik is not for background listening.
On her new self-titled record, Mitchell dives headfirst into this swamp of broken rhythms, cracked foundations and serrated pieces of sound. These songs sound like the inner workings of hell's infernal machine, all claustrophobic gear movements and murky motivations. Each track is coated in grime and static, and possesses an insatiable need to consume any sound that it touches. Spoken word samples mix with electro acoustic arrangements and dramatic explosions of garbled musical transmissions, which are then brought together in a whirlwind of arrhythmic experimentation. This is music for people who demand more than just bland emotional sentiment—this is music that stares back into the encroaching darkness and forces it to look away first.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.