Mark Mahoney and Michael Peck have compiled tracks from their live performances of 2005. It would be hard to pigeon hole the genre of music that these artists produce. A Mahoney and Peck performance takes the listener through a journey with many twists and turns. An uplifting melodic theme may slowly evolve into an abstract and dark world of strange sounds and textures, only to evolve again into a soft heavenly melodic theme.
Mahoney and Peck have performed twice on Chuck van Zyl's radio show, Stars End. They have also performed at the Electro-Music 2005, 2006, and 2007 festivals in Philadelphia as well as the Midwest Electronic Music Symposium (MEMS) in Indianapolis.
Chuck van Zyl of Stars End radio listed Imprint as one of the significant releases of 2006.
Here's a review for New Age Reporter from Wind and Wire's,
MARK MAHONEY AND M. PECK
To understand the brilliance of Imprint, the new album from M. (Michael) Peck and Mark Mahoney (two members of the trio The Amaranth Signal and also solo artists in their own right), merely read the following quote from the liner notes: “From lush celestial harmonics to the undercurrent of something altogether subterranean, our goal was to create an album that is at once undefinable, yet accessible. That was our intention – this our imprint.” That sums it up nicely - undefinable yet accessible. Wielding an assortment of analogue and digital synths and a theremin (yeah!), Mahoney and Peck circumnavigate the entire ambient electronic music globe, from its earlier days of psychedelic noodlings to melodic soundscapes of retro golden age influence to contemporary abstract textural works, but always staying rooted firmly in a base of the familiar so as not to alienate the less adventurous fan of the genre.
The first track, “A Fabled Utopia,” brings to mind such pioneers of electronics and synthesizers in music such as Fifty Foot Hose, Hawkwind, and Tonto’s Expanding Headband. Opening with spacy swirls of retro keys, weird effects and warm washes of synthesizer, before glowing glistening organ-like notes twinkle against an inky backdrop of cyber-crickets…and this is all in the first two minutes. Yeah, I’d pretty much say the music on Imprint is indescribable unless one has 10,000 words to do it in! “Initiation” has a quasi-jazz-fusion aspect to it, calling to mind the Soft Machine song “Facelift.” Adventurous and somewhat abstract owing to the actual noises employed, there is still musicality inherent in the track as it develops past its initial bizarre (but not overly so) opening, with cool retro organ noodling and a circular melodic refrain playing in the background amidst the sounds of circuits opening and closing and electricity shorting out. “Lower Density of Souls” takes the listener into deep space with deliciously languid washes of pure analogue synthesizers bathing you in warmth before descending into deeper darker more drone-oriented textures. “Breached Tidal Motion,” is disquieting but not oppressively so, bearing some resemblance to Robert Rich’s darker works (e.g. Stalker, A Troubled Resting Place, Calling Down the Sky) with its miasma of swirling drones and tones, mournful horn-like sounds, and vague rattlings deep in the mix. “Pathogen” may be the most abstract track here and, compared to some other cuts, it may prove somewhat challenging to the less brave souls out there, although the use of the theremin on the lead for part of the song sure does add a nice touch of The Day The Earth Stood Still nostalgia, as do the buzzing whirring analogue synths. Peck and Mahoney close things out with the mini-epic (fifteen and a half minute) “Static Migration” and, as usual, I simply throw my hands up in the air when trying to describe this long a track. Abstract skittering noises and burbblings mutate into beautiful twinkling retro synthesizers firing laser streams into the night sky and then morph into glitchy trippy beats married to analogue synths (a la psychetropic, a.k.a. Todd Fletcher) and its still not even close to being over.
Since my first exposure to these two ambient music wunderkinds on penumbra, I have been impressed with their unique vision of where electronic music has been and, more importantly, where it’s headed. Consummate craftsmen at their synthesizers and the mixing board as well (this stuff is incredible on headphones), Mahoney and Peck reveal enough talent and vision to place them at the forefront of this genre’s current exploration of “retro-futurism” (a trend I’ve seen emerge over the last year or so). If you’ve any interest in or love of “pure” synthesizer music, you owe it to yourself to become “imprinted” with this fascinating album. Highly recommended!
A Review from Morpheus Music
Lustrous genre crossing synthesiser music - generally without beats and rich in vibrant multiple layers. Imprint is full of fluctuating synthetic tones and lush textures - smooth sonic plains alive with shimmering detail and spangles of sound, calm undulations with revolving, morphing motifs and crystalline effects. There are electrical environments with lurking barbs and dark currents - distorted voices garble in the middle distance, heavy pads well up occasionally, suggestive of the passage of enormous forms flickering, bristling with detail. Promotional material proclaims "From lush celestial harmonics to the undercurrent of something altogether subterranean, our goal was to create an album that is at once undefinable, yet accessible. That was our intention – this our imprint". I would say the intention is eminently realised.
OVERALL Mark Mahoney and Michael Peck might be known to some listeners for their work as part of The Amaranth Signal, Michael Peck also producing material as redfadesbeforeblue. For this release the duo have compiled tracks from their live performances of 2005 resulting in a CD that is somewhere down the ambient end of the electronic spectrum yet utilising what the band refer to as "shape- shifting rhythm patterns and melodic transformations". This is a release with a powerful sound, the sonic environments are deeply absorbing and engrossing - the professionalism of the artists being clearly evident. You might want to try this one if you enjoy ambient music with some muscular structure threaded through, or if you like electronica that revels in ambiguous soundscaping.
A Review from Dene Bebbington at Melliflua
Mark Mahoney and Michael Peck are a duo previously unknown to me. Using both analogue and digital synthesisers, and theremin, they've created an album of sometimes unfathomable atmosphere that traverses diverse realms from subterranean to outer space. According to the liner notes “From lush, celestial harmonics to the undercurrent of something altogether subterranean, our goal was to create an album that is at once undefinable, yet accessible”. They have achieved this goal admirably. . .