After an extended leave of absence from the recording world, The Mercury Program are back in full effect with their latest release, Chez Viking. With an intriguing blend of atmosphere-filling sounds, these experimentalists by nature bring forth something of a fondue pot of boiling and bizarre collaborations between vibraphones and a taunting rhythm section. Their style would almost seem simple by nature if it didn’t leave you with an out-of-this-world, hand job from an alien-like euphoria after one listen.
When experimental, non lyrical, music is made, there doesn’t seem to be enough credit given to those behind the scenes. In the case of Chez Viking, that would be the unofficial 5th, 6th, and 7th members of the Program for Chez Viking: Engineer Andy Baker and Mixers Jeremy Scott (Civil Defense, Brookyln) and Bob Weston (Chicago Mastering Service, guess where?). The success to come from this album is comparable to the latest craze film, Avatar. Obviously James Cameron can’t take all the credit for the incredible visuals that rape your eyes for three hours. Yes The Mercury Program are the founders of the sound they portray, but in their musical realm a back up team can make or break the deal. And the deal is signed, sealed, and delivered that this is a warranted success. Unlike that 3-D bullshit folks are flocking to. But, that’s a different story.
Chez Viking is one of those albums that will make you want to take a hot bath in the middle of a hot summer day. The “chill” aspect of this almost jazzy collection of tracks will have you searching for warmth as The Mercury Program infect your bloodstream with the sounds of a thousand milligrams of tantalizing musical heroin, sending you into a transparent bliss you will never want to leave.
Lovitt Records [CD, 2009]
1. Chez Viking
3. Backseat Blackout
5. Stand & Sing
6. The Church of Cause and Effect
7. Fluorescent Laces