|Album Review: Mark Mackenzie – Machine EP|
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Mark Mackenzie is a 22 year old producer that is constantly designing impressive new projects. He's currently living in the Highlands of Scotland where he spends his time creating music with hardware technology. The music that helped shape his own interests are vast and vary from hip-hop, electro, house, and a recent fancy for disco. However, there is little room for softer sounds in his recent work, it's purely dark energy with ambitious bass lines.
The EP Mark's just released is a five track masterpiece titled Machine. Each piece of the greater cognitive framework leaves the listener in a state of perplexity. There is intended flow as the EP moves from one track to the next, but the bigger connections are a necessity for the listener to make by themselves.
"Reflex" is the first song that hits you with a wave of Mark Mackenzie's tech skills. The groovy main bass line acts as a trap, keeping you engaged with short bursts of vocals and acid toned fade-outs. For an EP opener, "Reflex" sets the perfect mood by keeping the energy high all the way through.
The next song starts on a spooky note with odd samples on repeat, teasing the sounds of insanity. The chronic title "Machine" captures the base layer of the entire EP, there is a familiarity of experimental sounds and broken technology noises. The track exhibits a clear sonic stress, but somehow still pertains a sense of consistency through the vocals.
"Marvin" begins similarly chaotic, but slowly changes into a groove that you could easily move to. The seriously psychotic synths that move back and forth bring a tense mood that is only eased by the tenacious rhythm and hi-hat ending.
The fourth track "Shook" picks up right where "Marvin" left off. The hi-hats and uplifting beat move right from intro into chorus and keep up the positive vibrations. The sleazily seductive deep voice telling any listener to "move your body" makes this track an EP highlight. Mark Mackenzie brings just enough dark funk to make "Shook" work out amazingly.
The final delight on this five track EP is titled "Lust into Oscilation" and brings back that acid sound. The track stabs all the right places with acid laced synths that attack the main melody. The finishing build creates the perfect amount of anticipation before slowly working away into oblivion. Well played Mark!
The style of Mark Mackenzie's work is unconditionally good, as this producer surely has several years of experience producing electronic music. His EP manages to move over several sound layouts as any relatively large EP should do. There always needs to be a diverse music sample on EPs' because they act as an opportunity for people to hear your music in smaller bursts.
Yet impressively, Mark Mackenzie also shows a heightened sense of awareness and creates a loosely structured outline to the 5 track overall flow. This attention to detail and narration through design is what gives the EP that extra push to a 9 out of 10.