Six months ago, Psychic Mirrors debuted its incestuous mess of cosmic funk, jazz, and R&B at the Vagabond. On Saturday, the 10-piece Miami collective, spearheaded by Mickey de Grand (aka Ryan de Grandy) and featuring members from Kabuki Iron Kolors and Capsule, announced the release of a 7” through Miami’s Cosmic Chronic Records.
Side A: “Mystic Hustle” saunters smoothly out of the gate into Weather Report mode, complete with ticking high hat, electric keyboard, chimes, and Joe Zawinul (jazz joke!). Just when you think you’re about to suffer (enjoy?) a 13-minute avant-garde instrumental, the 1970s’ cooler, funkier, cocaine-lovinger side jumps in to save the day. It’s all Earth, Wind & Fire from 30 seconds out, baby! Sexy “ooohs” and “aaahs”, hoots and hollers, vocal synths, synth synths, and so many percussion instruments that they probably used a bock-a-da-bock. This song’s best accomplishment is that it never comes across as Cheez Whiz.
Side B: “Dark Shadows” is a spooky tale of Miami natives abandoning their city and leaving behind their ghosts. Riding a sped up variation of Chic’s “Good Times” bass line (made famous by “Rapper’s Delight”) and an ominous keyboard arpeggio, the track features de Grandy calling out his fellow Miamians for drifting elsewhere to find artistic success:
“People coming, people going, nobody stickin’ around/Every time they try to find their faces, as they should/They fly to L.A. or New York, that’s right, they flew the coop.”
“Dark Shadows” showcases Psychic Mirror’s rare ability to meld a panoply of instruments, several vocalists, an aerobic rhythm, and exacto-sharp timing into a coherent composition. It also heralds the long-awaited arrival of a funk outfit Miami can be proud of.
Psychic Mirror’s 7″ will be available for purchase at Sweat Records in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can check out a video clip from PM’s Endless Summer II performance at Grand Central on March 3.
Notes: The record was engineered by Capsule’s Ryan Haft, a hardcore junky who plays lead guitar in Psychic Mirrors and also produced Lil Daggers self-titled debut full-length. The record was mastered by Dave Cooley, a distinguished engineer who has mastered albums for J Dilla, Karen Dalton, Mr. Heavenly, Serge Gainsbourg, Local Natives, among many others. Cosmic Chronic Records is a Miami-based label with a roster that includes Miami Players Club, Stevezy, Benton, Kabuki Iron Kolors, Cuchito, Rashied Tali, and Bertha Sandoval.