HomeMusicMarbyllia’s “Uncountable Spheres” 

Marbyllia’s “Uncountable Spheres” 

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At times both minimalistic and potent where it counts, as conflictive as this might seem, the cello parts that we find scattered throughout the seven songs in Marbyllia’s Uncountable Spheres are undeniably agents of evocation when we’re least expecting them to be. Similarly to the piano element, but not nearly as great in value in the big picture here, Margaret Maria’s acrylic contribution to songs like “Exiting Exosphere” and “Unexplored Worlds” is a statement-maker, informing us of just how profound a musicianship Marbyllia is wrestling with in these recording sessions. Uncountable Spheres is an LP that stokes the flame of old-fashioned experimental with ambient postmodernism I had feared fleeting in the Canadian underground, and it’s a fantastic way of getting to know its creator this late winter season.

The cello is pretty loud in the mix of “Mesopheric Lights” and “Our Sacred Troposphere,” and even though it isn’t quite as searing in the song “Stratosphere in Distress,” I think its use as a buffer between the more jarring components here was brilliant from the get-go. Though some of their contemporaries might have been quick to insert a little more room between the instruments in all three of the aforementioned compositions, I understand what Marbyllia was trying to achieve in going this route instead. With as tight a sound as they’re unloading into this material, they can’t be accused of trying to relive the same rhythms past experimental icons once embraced, and these days, that’s half the battle with the increasingly discriminating indie music press.

I would have rounded out the tracklist here with “Our Sacred Troposphere” over the imploring “Unexplored Worlds,” but aside from that, I think the conceptual flow of this album puts it on a higher tier than any of their peers can sit upon at the moment. “Gravitational March” gets everything started with a cinematic level of ambiance that I don’t see myself forgetting before the year has concluded, and from there forward, we’re always waiting, anticipating whatever firebomb of sonic creativity is going to come around the next bend. I wouldn’t call this progressive instrumental music per se, but there’s a more grandiose narrative in play in Uncountable Spheres that I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more of the next time this artist enters the studio to record.

Overall, Marbyllia shows off a lot of incredible growth in Uncountable Spheres, and their potential moving forward is not even close to debatable right now. Songs like “Gravitational March,” “Unexplored Worlds” and “Stratosphere in Distress” don’t follow a traditional road map, but instead are born of a creative ambition that you just can’t find every day in this business. There’s no question that this is one of the more evocative records you’re likely to get ahold of before February expires, and though it probably won’t be the lone hit Marbyllia submits to the public, it’s the tone-setter that none of us even knew we needed for sure. Simply put, this is top-notch listening for experimental fans of all stripes.

Heather Savage

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