Mountains Centralia

Ears still virgin to the inspiring neo-psychedelia of Mountains will find a perfect place to begin exploring their discography with Centralia. While so much ambient- and drone-based experimental music is essentially meaningless, forgettable work that roughly replicates the same sonic recipe popularized by Brian Eno in the '70s, the distinctive melodies and forward-thinking-yet-beautiful experimentalism heard in Mountains' music put them in a league of their own. On Centralia, Mountains blend the emotive organic textures of 2009's Choral with the synthesized elements of 2011's Air Museum, creating a cohesive album that encompasses all things Mountains. Centralia's two lengthy cuts, derived from live recordings ("Propeller" and "Liana"), are otherworldly journeys that remove the listener from thoughts about the past and future, placing them peacefully in the present, and the present only. While the album is a drone-based record, Mountains never stagnate, unafraid of abrasive movement, and their sometimes intense palette never feels out of place or unpleasant. (Thrill Jockey)