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M.E.S.H. Piteous Gate PAN

After M.E.S.H. demanded attention with last year’s obliterating Scythians EP, we have been anxious to hear more from the Berlin-based noisemaker and Janus associate.

Listeners unfamiliar with M.E.S.H.’s style will recognise cherry picked elements from the disparate worlds of pop, techno, underground hip-hop and IDM, but will also be faced with something totally unfamiliar. Less dancefloor-focused than M.E.S.H.’s previous work, Piteous Gate slides between genre boundaries, moving from ambient to pop to dance and back again with a seductive ease.

Whether it’s disorientating push-pull rhythms, trancey synths or faux-medieval lutes, M.E.S.H. has an incredible knack for blending the artificial and the natural. At times the darker passages of the album evoke the more academic world of electro-acoustic music and music concrete, but to talk at length about Piteous Gate‘s dark, hyperreal aesthetic within an ‘art’ context would miss the point. Taking the sounds at face value, Piteous Gate is sonically brilliant and, while dark, is also playful. The blending of cheesy dance elements with ‘serious’ music comes off as both subversive and fun.

Piteous Gate is not as readily accessible as his earlier work but, rather than shutting listeners out, it feels as though M.E.S.H. is drawing us further down the rabbit hole, expanding upon the vocabulary established through his work as part of the Berlin-based Janus crew and developing his own singular voice. M.E.S.H.’s virtuosity cements him as a great addition to PAN’s esteemed roster.