Peter Holslin spends his vacations on Nebulon
John Christopher Harris II is a beatmaker with a passion for introspection. Performing as Mystery Cave, he uses samplers, synths and guitar to create personal odysseys anchored by slightly off-kilter beats. There’s a new-age edge to his music, but compared to the dreamy muzak of so many other bedroom beatsmiths, his music plumbs deeper depths of exploration and melancholy. That was certainly the case when he made his Mystery Cave debut at Low End Theory on a recent Wednesday night—with piled-on layers emerging from the speakers, his songs were almost overwhelming in their intensity, scaring off some audience members while leaving others with eyes wide and mouths agape.
Harris recently signed to Psychic Fortitude, a new imprint run by Jake Jenkins from Alpha Pup, and Passion of the Weiss is pleased to premiere his label debut, Natural Mind. Coming out on March 31, the five-track EP builds on the naturalism of Teebs while aiming higher into the skies. “Inner Space (Natural Mind)” lifts off on windy electronic textures. “Merkaba” sends synths glistening over buzzing bass. The haunting metallic bell loop of “Water Sign,” meanwhile, ambles forth in such a leisurely manner that it legit ended up sneaking into my dreams.
If some electronic music sounds mechanistic by nature, Mystery Cave is among those who are moving in the opposite direction, using technology as best they can to get closer to natural and supernatural realms, and to better understand their own minds. “This EP is part of an over-arching theme of self-realization,” Harris says, “me getting in touch with my highest self, being guided by the source of that truest self as often as possible, and the long road of understanding that we are all on to realize our potential.”
Mystery Cave is currently working on a full-length LP, which is set to come out on Psychic Fortitude later this year. In the mean time you can stream Natural Mind below, and/or purchase the EP via iTunes.