Review: Braeyden Jae – Fog Mirror

Braeyden Jae - Fog MirrorToday is a suitable day to write about Fog Mirror. It’s midday and my mind is thoroughly clouded. I didn’t sleep well. I drank too much last night. I feel dislocated from the world outside; the edges of my vision into a cinematic dream sequence, with public chatter blurred into an incoherent drone. There’s a certain part of this record that acknowledges these moments of reality displacement. Jae takes several strands of melody and tangles them into a web of simultaneous sound, like the real world fighting with the imagery of seven daydreams all erupting at once. Every sentiment is crumpled by distortion and muffled by the surrounding activity, forming a mist of overlain objects and misdirected voices. Opening track “Vanishing Procession” is a fountain of choral drone and refracted electronic rays, flecked by thick crackles of vinyl run-out groove. The ambiguously titled “More Washed Feeler” drowns a sombre orchestral symphony in pools of dead air, smothered the sadness of mourning with the emotional void of death itself.

Strangely, there’s something about being lost in the haze of sound that starts to feel invigorating, like being smacked with a wall of waterfall vapour. The distortion is always crisp and cold, drenching the guitars in pools of gloss and shimmer. Perhaps this is the sensation of impurity passing through, rather than confusion flooding in? Despite the various contradictions in melody, the soundscape never turns dissonant or ugly – there’s a harmonic serenity underpinning even the most erratic passages, nullifying the cacophony of detail with the vague, omnipresent sentiment that all is ultimately well. “Two Mirrors Looking” is a violent sort of bliss, channelling happiness somewhere within the waves of fizzes and smears, embracing the chaos as a means of meditative disconnection from external reality. What started out as a smog of lethargy soon starts to feel spiritually wholesome and cleansing. As it transpires, sometimes it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.