Mouth Premiere “Turn the Lie” Video; Vortex Redux Reissue

mouth vortex redux band pic

This past Friday, classically progressive heavy rockers Mouth released Vortex Redux through This Charming Man Records. And though ‘redux’ in a heavy context has come to be associated with Magnetic Eye Records‘ ongoing album-tribute series, no, this is not Mouth or anyone else covering their own album. Remastered with the included bonus track “Turn the Lie” (video premiering below) and liner notes by yours truly.

The Köln-based trio — now comprised of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Christian Koller, drummer/keyboardist Nick Mavridis and bassist Thomas Johnen, who made his first appearance on last year’s Getaway (review here) in the role previously filled by Gerald Kirsch — originally released Vortex (review here) in 2017 through Al!ve/Blunoise Records as an eight-years-later follow-up to their debut, Rhizome, but really, it was the point at which their proggy intent found its fruition. With underlying influence from the heavier end of the style and a modern cast on vintage ideologies, they’ve been able to position themselves in both worlds as a band whose foundation is in prog textures with keys and retro organs and synth and melodies and all that stuff mixed with the occasional let-loose of a thicker shove.

It’s a fine line and Mouth dance all over it, but you’ll pardon me if I leave the analysis there. I’ve both reviewed this album AND I wrote the liner notes below in blue — as opposed to the usual ‘bio I wrote’ tag I apply in situations where editorial and promotional lines are blurred (always uncomfortable; full disclosure, I actually don’t remember if I was compensated or not for the below writing; I’m terrible with money and knowing things generally; see also ‘incompetent’) — that begin with “Welcome…” and end where they end. Seems like plenty, so if you’re still reading at all and haven’t already started the clip, I’ll just say that that whole “prog + fun” equation alluded to above is exactly what comes to life here, and in close-up style.

Plenty more of my blah blah blah follows — I didn’t even know they were using the notes as promo copy until the record was out, but fair enough — and the clip’s three minutes and weird and kind of lo-fi, which somehow makes it more of a good time. But you’re right in the box with them, so I hope you’ve showered recently. Nobody wants to be the one stinking up the practice space.

Please enjoy:

Mouth, “Turn the Lie” video premiere

mouth vortex redux

This is the bonus track of the redux version of MOUTH’s second album VORTEX.
Order the new mastered and reworked album here:

camera: Jerome Crutsen

Welcome to the definitive Vortex. The LP you’re holding has been on a journey, and no, not just shipping. Mouth’s second after 2009’s Rhizome, Vortex was mostly recorded in 2011 and 2012 over five sessions in a small space where the band rehearsed. Material was pieced together intermittently over a period of 11 months with Chris Koller handling guitar, keys and bass and Nick Mavridis on drums. That’s where it started. Two construction projects: the studio and a recording that would help define the course of the band in classic and melodic progressive rock, happening almost simultaneously in a creative meta-narrative that could easily stand as analog for the depth of pieces like “Into the Light” or the sprawling “Vortex” itself, which opens the record (new and old editions) in an encompassing display of impulse and fluidity

Through experiments in atmosphere like “March of the Cyclopes” and toward the finish of “Epilogue,” Mouth married sounds that in other contexts would come up disparate, like finding a hidden magnetism between two north poles.

Most of the Vortex songs were created on the spot in the studio.There would be no way to know it at the time, but this process would result in a collection of songs with a broad range, within as well as between the component tracks. “Parade” taps Sly Stone on the shoulder and asks if he wants to party (he does), while the penultimate “Soon After…” resonates with its smoky, mellow-jazz vibe. “Vortex” itself happens over six movements and was put together across different sessions, while “Epilogue” happened in a day.

Dissatisfaction with the original mix – and when an album has as much put into its arrangements as Vortex, that balance matters – would lead Mouth to offer Out of the Vortex in 2020 as a collection of alternate versions of pieces like “Mountain” and “Parade,” as well as the unreleased “Ready” and “Homagotago’s Paddle Boat Trip,” the latter an apparent successor to a cut from Floating. But sometimes a thing nestles itself into the back of your head and just won’t leave, and Mouth’s pursuit of a finished Vortex would lead them into the studio again.

Koller handled the remix himself in Oct. 2023, and in addition to helming the new master, krautrock legend Eroc (who drummed in Grobschnitt) brought a gong to mark the beginning of “March of the Cyclopes.” Like a lot of the finer touches on this Vortex, be it a hashed-out stretch in the title-track built on a drum/bass jam or just pulling the vocals and Hammond down a bit in “Epilogue,” the result is a stylistic flourishing that was there all along throughout the journey and now can finally shine as the band intended. – JJ Koczan / Dec. 2023

Pressing Info:
100 copies black (mailorder edition)
400 copies purple transparent wax
-> all copies come with a fold out poster

Mouth, Vortex Redux (2024)

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