In spite of bouts of left field experimentation, the album Bilharzia by the New York one-man project, The abby mac, offers a string of good songs and smart ideas. The moodier songs that surface as the album unfolds ring truest and render the pep of the album’s more chipper tunes playful by juxtaposition. The project feels like an exercise in the artist challenging himself to write something other than what he knows…or rather, than what we know. Right from the start, the title track engulfs you in a fluorescent sensory experience, tons of different sounds and mystifying colors flying by at a brisk speed. “Bilharzia” then has the uncanny ability to morph in mid-song, switching to and from sounds with virtuosic effortlessness.
Each track has its own tone and carries its own weight, but they all combine to produce a kaleidoscopic effect that feels like musical rainbow on a hazy, rainy day. The abby mac sounds best when unapologetically frenetic and upbeat, simultaneously shredding melodies subtly and feverishly, like in “les enfants morbides” and the aptly named “Perpetual”. Concerning the latter, the earnest drive of the guitar adds to the exhilarant nature of the oblique vocal interludes. It’s a reference to the type of jaunty weirdness that will put this project squarely onto the experimental scene.
A lot of these tracks play out like mantras, and if you repeat the elusive melodies and chants to yourself enough, you can feel a tangible effect begin to happen; these are like spiritual and mood boosters. There is, however, something concurrently futuristic and retro about this album that bolsters its own presence in the current dream-pop landscape. It seems that The abby mac creatively feeds himself by making music that is, thematically and sonically freaky little snapshots in time. Even in the album’s most bizarre moments there is typically honest sincerity to be found in the music.
There are some mysteriously agitating ambient moments as well, especially on “Gazebostalker”, “Can’t” and “Cube”. But these are contrasted by the flowing “xenaddu” and “amlodipine”. Surrealism has often been defined as an artistic movement that deviates from the conscious laws of reason and convention.
It is a philosophy dedicated to exploring the most obscure realms of the human imagination. Surrealism originally began as an expressionistic approach to visual art, but the ideology of imaginative indulgence transcended into other art-forms such as film and music. The abby mac delves directly into surrealism on “Bilharzia”.
The abby mac can be described as a composer whose music spontaneously transcends various sounds, displaying a distinctively eccentric and innovative musical style. Amalgamating synthwave and dreampop, he creates an unusual listening experience that is directly inspired by the unconventional nature of surrealism.
“Bilharzia”, the album, perfectly displays all of the different approaches The abby mac uses with electronic effects, from eruptive discharges of cosmic sounds to inducing a more melodious free-flowing atmosphere. It proves to be highly entertaining because it’s simply The abby mac doing what he does best – altering the norms of musical orchestration while blending several different sonic elements to create a truly contrasting but highly captivating listening experience.