It was only this past April when Thomas Park made some serious waves in the ambient world via his Mystified alias with a collaboration involving scientific ambient extraordinaire and Ozark Mountain dweller Shane Morris entitled “Epoch” — a work of dense organic drones and synthetic primitive naturalism that was released on Lotuspike; a member of the Spotted Peccary Music Group. Now, Park is intent on making some big waves again; only this time, instead of reaching into the past as a musical direction, he’s reaching back into his own catalog — with the help of Noah Fleischman’s Roil Noise label — to give new life to “Music for Transit”. “Music for Transit” is a collaborative album with Robin Storey of Zoviet France / Rapoon fame that has seen its fair share of releases prior to this point, starting a decade ago with Park himself financing the project and with the album eventually finding its height of popularity through the Soleilmoon Records distro. It would find a new home in a digital format four years later with Blue Water Records and there it would remain until Roil Noise chose to pick it up this year and give it a relatively proper release as a CD-R with a pro-printed gatefold insert in a plastic sleeve.
Although Storey’s name being so firmly attached to this release, it appears that the only track that he actually took part in was the opener, “R. Storey Transit Remix”. All other tracks were mixed by Park originally, and now have an additional polished remastering from Lotuspike’s Ben Cox. Of course, Storey’s relative absence from this release doesn’t necessarily hurt it as the rest of the tracks are classic meditative Mystified. Storey’s track is a pulsating work of stereo flickering that is textured by almost percussive droning and a complex, rhythmic veil towards the end of the track that spans a massive array of layering and manages to both be gentle and mildly abrasive. The entirety of the rest of the album rests in Park’s hands, and while his work is less complex, it is more effective and in many ways more relative to the theme at hand. Unlike Park’s usual dose of minimalism, there is a great deal going on in the tracks featured here. The music created ranges from sparse heavenly textures and monolithic droning voices to meditative trance states and sea/air-themed imagery. Tracks like “Unity of Heaven” specifically stand out because of their mildly ethno-ambient approach, whereas the mood can change almost completely with a following track like “Seaborn II” with distant bell tolls and a darker atmosphere.
Despite being released only a couple of weeks after the Transit of Venus, there appears to be little if anything cosmic about “Music for Transit”. Of course, the ability to interpret is still quite open to the listener’s perspective and can, as such, take on different paths from different viewpoints. Whereas one can see this as a simple soundtrack to drown out the hustle and bustle of the every day life of a travelling man/woman on an overseas journey, another can see something in the complete opposite direction as a deeply spiritual voyage. From projecting your inner sight around the planet in a meditative state to the journey of the soul as it leaves the body on an unavoidable passage into a new state of being, there is almost certainly a deeper personal understanding for the tracks composed on “Music for Transit” that yearn for a closer listen.
It’s strange to think of “Music for Transit” as one more excellent release in a long line of work from Mystified as it is a decade-old release — but in that respect it stands as a tribute to the quality of Park’s career-long dedication to quality in spite of quantity. Every new release has a new direction, every new track has a different level of depth, emotion, or intellectualism behind it. Somehow, there’s always a new journey to be had, and because of this, his music is rarely suffers the ultimate artistic affliction of monotony. Instead, every new work stands as a dedication to a mind that is fervent with imagination and inspiration.
01) Robin Storey Transit Remix
02) Deep and Still
04) Unity of Heaven
05) Pacific 2
08) Silent Swing
09) Short Meditation