“Livetronica” Duo of Joanne Hunt and Justin Handley, AKA SILVERMOUSE have blended the Mystic and Psychedelic on their latest epic release ‘EARTHADELIK’
Silvermouse have in their latest release Earthadelik created an symphonic collection of music that has a living essence, as sad, the music is organic, rich and flowing. They have taken ethnic rhythms and beats, arranges to create a mesmerizing synergetic and electrifying pulse of life. New Moon, the opening track has and almost aboriginal essence, the base rhythm taking some energy lent from a digeridoo sounds of Australia, yet it drives you into a Latin inspired dance grooves of both organic and techno. This soundscape blends into the next track Existence Experience, slowly transporting you across the globe, with a feeling I can only express and a futuristic Rio “Carnival” parade, it is blissfully trancing. Down continues the movements, suddenly sidestepping into a dimensional rift, one would a should say that each track on this explosively rich and diverse collection of works,
Earthadelik is the vision of the worlds music of the future, the blend of the anatomical and the autotomical, the natural and supernatural, a divine evolution of sound. One track that has me spinning is Beef in D Minor, if you, like me love the progressive music front, this song sounds much like what Pink Floyd di on the album Atom Heart Mother, I feel Silvermouse has truly tapped into the Universal Mind.
In 2013, called by a new personal and musical chapter after many years in the high desert of New Mexico, multi-instrumental married duo Joanne Hunt and Justin Handley felt that a small farm in western Puerto Rico would be an ideal place to raise their two young children, cultivate their own food, surf waves, and continue to channel Silvermouse, their ever-evolving, hypnotic, earthen, transcendental, and richly improvisational “livetronica” sound.
When they weren’t outside farming, they holed up in their home studio, where electronic music producer Joanne (Jo) and multi-instrumentalist Justin (whose arsenal includes guitar, violin, mandolin, flute, ukulele and traditional Puerto Rican 3-string ‘cigar box’ guitar) continued to cultivate fresh ways to fuse their organic yet mystic and psychedelic energies. In 2017, as they were developing the tracks that would eventually become their latest epic album Earthadelik, Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
True to their upbeat nature, Silvermouse were unshakeable in the aftermath, choosing to reflect on the lessons learned and opportunities offered through the chaos that followed the storm. “As with all challenges, there are so many opportunities for change and growth. Change is what Maria really brought,” says Jo. “She was that dervish who came through the lives of all who were on the island. There is always power and creative energy in the vibration of change and, as we were fortunate enough to have our health and our home intact, we were able to bend and flex rather than be broken or forced to flee. We were able to take that energy and transform it into something beautiful – a thriving farm and garden, an off-grid life, a space for gatherings and coming together of souls… it was outside on our land that we recorded Earthadelik one moonlit night – completely live, solar powered, surrounded by friends.”
“Justin and I are grateful for all of it” she adds, “Maria didn’t happen around us, she came through us, and we definitely took strength and inspiration from the deep lessons in resilience, community, cooperation, service, and joyfully mindful presence that this time blessed us with. It was a time where only the essential remained, where lives were raised to the ground to be rebuilt anew.”
Likewise, Jo describes the 10 song, nearly 80-minute sonic experience of Earthadelik as “love, really,” a transportive work inspired by their current soundscape, sweet tropical air, rich forest floors and spores, roots and sweet fruit surrounding them. It exudes confidence, a total mushroom journey, all tied in energetically with that the fascinating cover artwork by Andy Thomas.
Silvermouse released their self-titled debut ten years ago, followed by Space Country in 2012 and then dove into a flow period of travel, exploration, and creative reassessment. Grounded in the music they played in a relatively non-electronic scene in Santa Fe, their first album featured more acoustic sounds and precision beats. With Space Country, they opened out of a more ambient sound into what Justin calls ‘heavier tracks’ that resonated with wide, desert expanses and the excitement of the open road. Earthadelik has emerged as an artful and natural balance of the two, with heavier distortion blending organically with the deeper bass and more robust sounds Jo is producing now. As Jo explains it, their sound is becoming more universal and cosmic, rooted in personal mystic and psychedelic experience, “in our relationship with the dense nature that surrounds and runs through us, and the unique position we occupy in this matrix of life-force we are all part of.”
After years of travel and self-discovery while writing and painting, the British born Jo met Justin in an experimental theatre group in Western Massachusetts, where he had been a core ensemble member and music producer for several years. She picks up the whirlwind journey from there: “With the theatre came Justin, came love, came hitting the road, came getting hitched, came me playing around with Reason and him with his many instruments, came the desert and an album and a baby and a farm and a tour and another album and another baby, and another tour; and then moving to the island and feeling roots and spores and visions and the voice of the universe whispering in the night sky and a beautiful blessed magical place to be home. I feel that we both have freedom to create completely authentically; the result of this union is greater than the sum of its parts.”
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