Founded in 2017, Mercury KX (MKX) is a beautiful label, hosting a whole generation of unique musicians who have been called "neo-classical" or "post-classical". Often these are classically trained virtuosos who have decided to turn their hand to composing in the field of minimalist music, or electronic music - ambient preferably - or even pop. This is a label without borders, hosting artists from Germany, Argentina, Australia, Iceland, England and elsewhere, in which we meet Ólafur Arnalds, Anoushka Shankar, Jean-Michel Blais and Isobel Waller-Bridge.
Often instrumental, MKX's music invites us to travel: it evokes images and landscapes. And its artists seem to be in constant conversation with the world around them and nature, as perfectly illustrated by the tracks here by MKX x SXSW, four previously unreleased tracks livestreamed during the (virtual) 2021 edition of the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. This EP features Argentine pianist and cellist Sebastian Plano (Purples), the Australian pianist Sophie Hutchings (Surrender to the Deepest Blue), the masked German pianist Lambert (Niort) and Australian pianist Luke Howard (Passion / Sleep).
A certain form of melancholy mixed with cinematic sensations binds these spartan pieces together. All in all, the album is a beautiful snapshot of the planet Mercury KX. © Max Dembo/Qobuz