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Will Schube once got lost in a hall of mirrors.
Serious, meditative psychedelic music is a dance with death. Without the proper dosage—a blend of cosmic solicitation with a patient summoning or earthly vibrations—the whole thing falls apart in foolishness or half-hearted chakra misalignment. In other words, it’s a lot easier to sound like a snake oil salesman than the second coming of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, or, at the very least, Pharoah Sanders. The vibrations of the cosmos are ready to be received, but if you’re not tuned in, the reading will be bogus. Every time. Enter The Myrrors, a group that’s set itself up for bad ouija readings based on name alone. There’s something too obvious about a name like The Myrrors, an exclamation point put before the sentence. But on the Arizona group’s latest release, Borderlands, anything expected is a false flag; this is a trip worth diving into.
The group formed in 2007, a collaboration between Nik Rayne and Grant Beyschau, while the duo was still in high school. Based in Phoenix, the act expanded for live shows, but disbanded when Rayne went down to Tucson for college. A few years later, Beyschau made his way to Tucson as well and the group re-formed, eventually leading to the release of Arena Negra, the band’s first LP for Beyond Beyond Beyond Records, a label they still call home today.
Borderlands, while still a layered, improvisatory-by-nature collaboration between Rayne and Beyschau, is an ample step up from any of the band’s prior releases. “The general idea is to mix these minimalist drone elements while still having all of these textures going on keeping it from getting boring, or keeping movement in the background while having a steady something in the foreground,” Rayne explains from Eindhoven, his new home base. These constantly morphing compositions never stay in one place for too long, with “The Blood That Runs The Border” moving from a molasses-slow, droning meditation to a spaced out double-time prog-rock groove. “Formaciones Rojas” takes its repetitive, hypnotic horn line from Albert Ayler, and these subtle jazz influences pop up like Easter eggs throughout the record.
“Grant and I are both into free jazz, spiritual jazz type stuff. We haven’t had a chance to explore that as much just because Grant also plays saxophone, so in a live setting it’s not as apparent. With this album we were definitely trying to get more into that zone,” Rayne says. That’s not to say these tracks are limited by any sort of prescribed dosage that perfectly blends psych and jazz touchstones. Instead, Borderlands treats these two genres as one, blending loopy saxophone lines with melting guitar parts and jangly drums.
“Call For Unity” might as well be an Albert Ayler b-side, all piercing horns and crisp, wildly delirious drums. The saxophone loops again and again until it’s folded into itself, unrecognizable from the groove. At just over three minutes, it’s the album’s shortest track but perhaps the most succinct vision of Borderlands. It’s both eerie and inviting, delirious yet meticulous. It’s tearing down walls, truly encapsulating the land of its namesake. As such, Rayne and Beyschau’s vision makes sense—this is expansive music that grows infinitely and without discrimination. Music truly from a foreign world.