It’s safe to say that on record, Mere make music that relies on atmosphere and turns of phrase, moody extempores that sort of promise that something will crystallise very soon.
Mere: a fine band, and one primarilly given to creating long sonic discursions between bass clarinet, drums and guitar. I’ve seen them live recently in a squat in Leiden’s Aalmarkt and I can tell you that they are a hell of a proposition to watch. On record, matters are inevitably different, in the sense that a lot of what makes their music tick is wrapped up in a very tangible live “theatre” created between the three musicians. Of course, when listening to it you are stripped of that element, and if you’re not in the mood for long and fairly intense work outs, despite their beauty, then you’ll have a hard, (but ultimately very rewarding) job keeping in there.
It’s safe to say that on record, Mere make music that relies on atmosphere and turns of phrase, moody extempores that sort of promise that something will crystallise very soon. The opening two tracks (I and II) are meditative in the extreme, a set of wandering, floating preludes to a main event that is just, seemingly, over the horizon. There’s something of the wanton late 60s in their sound, very early freak out bands like Amon Düül spring to mind, as do the Doors when they were doing some jiggery pokery like Celebration of the Lizard. (And of course, for us Leiden scene watchers we all know that Fabriek’s the closest thing to Klaus Schultze that Holland’s had, like, ever). Despite the 40 odd years of separation, and like their predecessors, Mere rely in whipping up a sort of emotional, impressionistic storm, balanced, and indeed fed, by brooding, subdued passages. Where Mere differ is in the quality of their recorded sound: it’s rich, open and well marshalled and more obviously interested in capturing a performance, capturing the quality of the atmospherics conjured up. When we do get the freak out – III – what’s noticeable is the weight of the track: this is a 25 minute excursion into a collective headspace that is – given the interplay - at times breathtakingly multidimensional.
It’s very easy to write a whole pile of pretentious bluster about what essentially is music that seeks to stop you thinking, in order to get you "out there". All you need to know is that it's a real quality slow burner. Looking forward to their new tape, too.