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Mahogany | The Dream of a Modern Day (Darla)
Whilst the reverberating, chiming guitars and ghostly vocals of Mahogany's debut full-length echo the ethereal eighties soundscapes of The Cocteau Twins, there is a lack of finesse and focus about this sprawling record that leaves a hollow ring come its conclusion. The folk at Darla Records discovered the album when it was first released on the Burnt Hair label in late 2000. They call it their 'favourite record' of that year and have dutifully repressed it and distributed it through their influential and eclectic label. Which tells me that I'm missing something. Maybe it's because Piano Magic would take all the ingredients of The Dream of a Modern Day and create one song from them that I find this blend of the electronic and the strummed so one-dimensional. Like the thesaurus-depleting liner notes that detract from the otherwise tasteful artwork, the flowery ostentation of the musical 'arrangements' adds up to little of substance. 'Like the pleasure of autonomous robots...' they begin and you purse your lips apprehensively, hoping for a punch line. '...fruition seems locked on the cusp of completion, almost like a balance,' it continues by which time you're stifling a guffaw. 'The alchemy of idealism, the separation it contains, what must propogate, realize... [snigger] ...there is a higher term, a greater sense to what we must achieve, sans technology. A new horizon, a wondrous life - lived not in peace, but dynamically.' Not here, pal.

Matt Dornan
June-July 2001

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