Mr. Maps is an instrumental rock band from Brisbane, Australia.
Mr. Maps was formed in early 2008, based on a body of work composed by Chris Perren as a QUT Honours submission. The group has since moved on to become a highly collaborative unit of musicians, writing new material which draws on the diverse influences and styles of each member.
In the short time since Mr. Maps’ formation, the band has created a surprising buzz amongst Brisbane music lovers with their precise and energetic live show. They have played only 12 shows in Brisbane so far, but have managed to pack out venues for most of their performances, and supported high-profile Brisbane bands such as The Rational Academy and Re:enactment.
The original material for Mr. Maps’ songs was created through a process of recording improvised jams, then cutting and combining those sounds into new works. The result was a very organic texture punctuated by electronic glitches and cuts, bridging the gap between the folktronica of Four Tet and the grand post-rock sounds of Mogwai or Sigur Ros. The compositions eschewed an air of optimism rarely found in the indie music of today.
With the completion of this material, Mr. Maps exploded into a 5-piece band, re-working Perren’s original tunes with each member contributing their own creative personality to the songs. New songs were written and the band began to develop its own unique personality. Live reviews were littered with such words as “precise”, “intricate” and “beautiful”. Sonic comparisons were made with bands such as Battles, Explosions in the Sky, toe, Pinback, and 65daysofstatic.
In September they began recording tracks for their upcoming release at White Horse Studios, deliberately employing a technique completely opposite to how the original material was written. The new recordings were executed together as a band in single-takes, with no click-tracks and very little editing or overdubs. This really captured the energy and spontaneity of Mr. Maps’ live show.
In February 2009 Mr. Maps will release “Mimicry of Lines and Light” on Lofly records – a double EP which will embody both sides of the Mr. Maps coin. Mimicry of Lines and Light contains two versions each of 5 songs. The "Lines" disc is studio recordings of the band tracked "live" at White Horse Studios; and the "Lights" disc contains the original cut-up-technique compositions of those same songs.
In 2009 Mr. Maps are planning to write a lot more new material, and are hoping to tour interstate. Plans for an international tour are further off on the horizon, as is the release of a full-length album. As for world domination – well, we haven’t talked much about that yet.
Mimicry of Lines and Light is 2 discs with contrasting versions
of 5 tracks:
The "Lines" disc captures the dynamic energy of the
band in live studio recordings of the songs, recorded together in one room with very few edits or overdubs. These re-workings of Perren's original compositions showcase the
various individual creativity in the band.
The "Lights" disc contains the original “cut-up” compositions which spawned the band; a folktronica inspired
rearrangement of improvised jam session recordings.
Reviewers have made the following comments about Mr. Maps:
"a supremely impressive display of the post/math-rock sound. If I were to compare them to other bands (and I'm about to), I'd say that they're like the flawlessly technical Battles attempting to incorporate the wide-eyed sound of Sigur Ros' 'Takk' album, or if the expansive Do Make Say Think combined their lengthy jazz-inspired workouts with the disco-rock of Of Montreal"
- Cam, Before Hollywood
"Mr Maps... are greeted with a rapturous reception that suggests that many members of the audience view the group as the main attraction this evening - and not without justification. An exceptionally disciplined cadre of musicians,"
- Time Off
"I am reminded that Mr. Maps are, quite simply, the best post-rock band in this city. Their music is… beautiful, beautiful noise including everything from sampled feedback, rolling electric piano, intricate guitar interplay to powerhouse, fuzz-laden basslines, while the drummer… what can I say… is f---ing unbelievable."
- denistheman, FasterLouder