More Eaze – Spiraling
Like her frequent collaborator Claire Rousay, Mari Maurice (AKA More Eaze) composes pieces from threads stitched together to form fragmented and vague musical tapestries, like Rousay also at an alarming rate. But where Maurice and Rousay diverge is in their approach. While the former finds herself occupied with the enigmatic cinema of field recording, Maurice’s experiments lean toward the synthetic. Pulling motifs from hyperpop and electronic music micro genres like vaporwave and nightcore, Maurice has built a universe of her own whose reality is revealed by way of her ambient adjacent soundscapes. Within this alternate dimension she transposes her real life feelings into the fantastical, exploring issues of gender, mental health, love, and sexuality.
Her new EP Spiraling arrives weeks after her latest LP, oneiric as a companion piece. A sort of sequel/alternate ending, Spiraling explores the same thematic concept of unrequited love as oneiric, but proposes different resolutions to the conflict. Where oneiric was an album about processing these emotions from an internal or subconscious perspective, Spiraling explores what happens if they are left to seep (or rather, explode) into our lived reality. The result is six saturated hyperpop formulations that swing from the visceral and confrontational, to the psychedelically cosmic. read receipts opens the album slowly, a quietly sung autotuned love song that flows through phrases of pads, static ambience, and strings. The title track is more chaotic, a glitched out hyperpop rager full of distortion and sparkling arpeggios. It’s like 100 Gecs covering Sinead O’Connor, obnoxious and loud but with a desperately romantic core. This continues on the excellent conflict styles. Opening with louche house synths that grow more staccato on each bar, the song quickly unravels into increasingly mounting chaos as a looped sample calls out, “you know you don’t care, you know I don’t care.” It’s exhilarating and a touch absurd in its bombast. But it’s the sort of irreverence that feels absolutely cathartic, a relinquishing of oneself to the chaos of complicated emotions that’s not too concerned about the consequences so much as the here and now.
The latter half of the EP ascends into the ethereal, finding Maurice in a sort of blissed out, post-tantrum state of mind. The gorgeous primordial featuring Pamela Santiago is a stand out. Santiago chants prayer like in Spanish as Maurice harmonises in helium high autotune, a lush and glowing, neon soaked cyber oasis of sounds blooming around the two like 3D animated waterfalls on a Windows screensaver. eat slowly closes the loop of Spiraling microcosm, returning to the glowing ambience and strings of read receipts in expanded form before ending in field recorded birdsong, like suddenly waking from a massive hit of DMT just to catch the sunrise on the floor of your urban high-rise.
Though she works within the parameters of the style, calling Maurice’s music ‘hyperpop’ is pigeonholing something more nuanced in its scope and intention. Though she’s using the genre’s motifs and signatures, she’s mostly subverting or re-contextualising these to fit her fantasy worlds. As fantastical as they are, there’s always the skeleton of reality hiding beneath the whimsical facade. Like Rousay’s dioramas of everyday life, Maurice’s are works that tell stories of our lived experience, making her work oddly relatable and all the more potent for it.
Listen to conflict styles from Spiraling below.
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