Psychic Mirrors - Ophilia

Nature of Evil was so much more than another modern funk (adjacent) album and Ophilia is so much more than another Nature of Evil.

Anyone expecting an album of “Draw Me Your Favorite Funk”s is gonna be disappointed but they should have known better anyway. Plenty of $5 Slave, Dazz or Fatback albums out there to keep you going. “Ricky Thai” probably the DJs’ go-to on here with its resonant byeowww layered on the one here and there, but there’s more on this album that will work on the floor. Open your heart.

Elsewhere there’s little intros/outros/vignettes that could easily stand on their own as fleshed out pieces. Plus fleshed out pieces that you might have first suspected to be intros/outros/vignettes. This is a simultaneous exercise in restraint, taste and risk. Not many people could do this.

The sound. Despite referencing stuff you’ll be familiar with, the end result is a brand new little universe outside of time that’s completely its own thing. It’s the future, you’ve been there before but it’s different this time. Silky Rhodes. Scratchy upright piano. Throaty lazer bass. Room sound ad-libs. Bells on A1 a nice touch too.

Somewhere between the writing and the production you’re phased into this feeling that’s not so much dreamlike, more the moment just after waking from one where you’re caught between both worlds. Plus a bit of that near-yet-far feeling Brian Ellis manages to do so well so often. It’s not (just another) modern funk (adjacent) album. It’s not strictly AOR. You get the feeling it’s a long moment through the very personal lens of Mickey de Grand IV.