“Consciousness, then, does not appear to itself as chopped up in bits … it is nothing joined; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life.”
Stream of consciousness is a term most often associated with literature, in which a narrative takes the form of an interior monologue which moves almost seamlessly. It is loose, it moves freely from one thought to the next. But words can only go so far when trying to explain the process of thought. Most of what goes on in the mind happens too quickly and is experienced on a primal level that never gets as far as being converted into language. Where words fail, sound can step in, allowing only the base emotion to be communicated. Sound can linger long enough to reflect upon, just as it can pass by unnoticed. One musical duo has started their career with a mixtape that is as loose and unstructured as a human mind. Bosveld’s Catalysts Mixtape welcomes you all to jump into this stream and be taken far away to something that cannot quite be put into words.
Catalysts Mixtape can most accurately be described as ambient folk. Resting on delicate acoustic guitar, slow, longing vocals, mournful saxophones, and various insertions of electronics and sounds from our natural world, Bosveld’s debut release refuses to linger on any one element for too long. The mixtape has no track divisions, only side A and side B, with each side simply passing from one segment to the next. Sometimes this comes in the form of a single verse from what could be an entire track, sometimes it could be a separated instrumental section or the sound of a police siren. Catalysts Mixtape is haunting in its beauty, travelling rapidly from eery to serene in a matter of seconds. Some segments are allowed to return back into consciousness after they seemed to disappear into a seemingly unrelated section. These ever-evolving soundscapes will force the listener to wander in their own mind, providing a backdrop to a mystical daydream.
Catalysts Mixtape has been released as a precursor to Bosveld’s upcoming debut album, Veldbrand. The approach taken by the duo of Velodrones (Thean Slabbert) and Jeremy Mulder on the eventual release of Veldbrand has the potential to go in different directions. The album could consist of a similar stream of consciousness method that we hear on Catalysts Mixtape, or it could go for a more traditional album organization, expanding the snippets heard on their mixtape into full tracks. Judging by the occurrence of lyrics like “fields of fire”, which happens to be the English translation of Veldbrand from Afrikaans, I am inclined to believe that the latter will be the approach taken, but I have no doubt there will be a similar ambient, atmospheric vibe to it. We will be able to get a hold of Veldbrand later this year, which will be followed by a tour of Ontario. The murkiness in predicting Bosveld’s direction is akin to the wandering feel of Catalysts Mixtape, and I am genuinely excited to see where this journey ends up.
You can currently stream the entirety of Catalysts Mixtape on Bosveld’s soundcloud (or here since I posted both sides anyway). Start listening to this mixtape, and let your mind wander wherever it may go.