Mice Parade: the name suggests something both tiny and spectacular. As such, it is a perfectly suited name for the solo project of The Dylan Group’s Adam Pierce, whose attention to minutiae is always evident. Previously, this characteristic might have been attributed to the solitary nature of a single person at work in a home studio, but on Collaborations, Pierce has found a number of like-minded participants, all of whom have an ear for the tiny. While this project was initially concieved as an EP for the Japanese Afterhours label, the five track recording clocks in at just over 40 minutes.
Collaborations opens with “The Fall from Andalucia,” the result of Pierce’s pairing with Doug Scharin (Him, June of 44, Rex). Already, one hears a dialogue in progress, with flamenco guitars, vibes and electronic sounds threading through the drums and dub reverb that are Scharin’s signature. On “Rela Circle,” Pierce is joined by Curtis Harvey (the voice and guitar of Rex). Together the two move through varying densities of guitars and percussion and along the way, they produce this gorgeous layered thing, which culminates in a sublime vocal harmony.
The remaining three tracks are all versions of “Mystery Brethren Vironment.” Its first occurrence is a building mesh of Nobukazu Takemura’s attentive and spare montage, Aki Tsuyuko’s haunting voice, and finally, shoe-gazing guitar rock. Jim O’Rourke’s remix of “Mystery Brethren Vironment” features all that is good about music — no kidding. With Mice Parade, O’Rourke has found a space in which to integrate the minimal tendencies, love of guitars, noise, synthesis and filtering which elsewhere have had to take turns. After many repeated listenings, it continues to surprise. Collaborations comes to a close with Child’s View’s (Takemura) remix of “Mystery Brethren Vironment,” in which the minute elements are layered with frequency and thickness resulting in a beautiful opacity. Collaborations is one of the best records in recent memory, to the point that it ruins the ear for other listening.