Album Review

Don the tie-dyed spacesuit, lower the visor, set phasers to stun, buckle up and commence the electro-galactic voyage to planet Fascinator as Musicology guides you through the cosmic exploration of Water Sign.

Fascinator - Water Sign

The phat bass lines and rattle snake shakers of Skin Within opens up for Fascinator a.k.a Johnny Mackay’s filtered vocals. The counter intuitive mix of horns and sky high synths, creates a puzzling yet invigorating starter.

Making its first but not last appearance, the sitar creates the backdrop to a hazy world of Valhalla and Nirvana on which Mackay sits atop. The Ian Brown-esk vocals cast a heady vibe over the mystical trip of My Private I Don’t Know before stepping out of a coke cloud and descending into drum break freak out.

With the Moog synthesizer set to funk, Your Money, It's Ugly, plays gently with its bongo accompaniment as the ivory is tickled to within an inch of its life. A track that should be played through loud speakers at a festival with the organ notes permeating every square metre of the forest that would even have the flora and fauna shak’n its booty.

The electronic church organ of Baby, Gone is the backbone of an extended bliss out that is coupled with hypnotic and sassy French chic vocals reciting the track title repetitiously. It is easy to get lost in this track as the sonic saturation is as immersive and it is mesmerising.

There was a deliberate intention to draw upon the infamous Madchester days and early rave scene in the U.K and this is no more evident than in the lead single Sex Crystals. Infectious beats, anthemic horns, a radiant positivity and choral sections delicately woven into funky bass lines. A tip of the hat that would make Shaun Ryder blush.

Stranded somewhere on the dunes under the baking sun during a mescaline meltdown, the psychedelic adventure of Snake Charmer is a long and winding one. The washed out reverb and feedback loops pair nicely with steady drum beats as it crescendos into a helter skelter of drum breaks and bee hive samples.

Stepping back to a more traditional format, Drenched Out takes more of a standard approach in its construction and serves to reset the listener having been taken on Mackays wild mystical journey. No less impressive but an opportunity to hear Mackay deliver what we know he is so capable of, in so much as to carve out some beautiful harmonies within this electro-indie gem.

All aboard for A New Rumble, this cosmic lift off ascends into the psychedelic stratosphere with its oscillating samples, mesmerising loops and wandering bass lines.

The compositional qualities of Showin’ Off are exceptional. The finesse with which Mackay fuses orchestral sections witty lyrical cynicism is his musical prowess on full display as if he was…well.. showing off. A track that would be a welcomed addition to any producer’s catalogue of prized works.

Making its return on Midnight Rainbow, the sitar and bongo combo wafts in, slowly pervading every auditable orifice. A symphony of organ, keys, drums and bass stretch on for enduring jam that swirls and pulses as it gently rides the cosmic waves.

The accumulative effect that the preceding tracks have on a record does not always provide the climatic ending that an album deserves. The outro however for Water Signs in Sepia Sandshoes is not the summation of the genre bending styles and that have defined the album but a shift in gear and gorgeous alt-pop track that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. A sheer gem of a tune and a masterstroke that creates an uncontrollable urge to hit repeat on the whole record.

Water Sign by Fascinator