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Live Review: Paul Mac delivers calm trance on 'Cataplexy', his first single in three years

22 February 2019 | 10:33 am | Caitlin Medcalf

You'd be hard pressed to find a more seminal electronic act to come out of Australia than the legendary PAUL MAC. He's back with his first single in three years, and although it's been a while between drinks, it was definitely worth the wait.

The release of the single, 'Cataplexy', also comes with the announcement of his forthcoming LP, Mesmerism set to be out on Kim Moyes Mike Callander's label Here To Hell this April.

Cataplexy is medically described as “a sudden & brief loss of voluntary muscle tone triggered by strong emotions such as laughter”. Paul Mac's track of this name offers up this feeling, allowing the experience to be propagated through sound. Through firework field recordings and an expert peer into the nostalgia of 90's rave, the track's delivery comes as a refreshing one against the current electronic landscape.

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'Cataplexy' is a trance purist's dream - there's feelings of euphoria and calmness that wash over you from the opening second, keeping you afloat right up until the closing moments of the track. Soft synths dance up and down, the melodies delicate in their delivery, yet complex in their structure.

The track represents a shift in both Mac's sonic identity and comfortability, seeing him move away from structure and convention and into something more free and improvised. 2016 saw him return to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to pursue his doctorate, so this new era is reflective of his criticality towards both music theory and his own understanding of music.

Of the forthcoming record, he said:

“I began a series of compositions that began outside of my head. No more autobiography, no more pop structures, no more dance remixes. Instead, I would begin with a field recording, a found sound, a mathematical pattern, an inspired speech, or an improvised recording session with an instrumentalist that I loved. I wanted to push the boat out and see what journey it would present. There was no plan, no market and no brand. Just ideas.”

Paul Mac's Mesmerism will be out in April, 2019 via Here To Hell.

Photo by Ben Sullivan