Exposé Online banner

Sacha Mullin — Duplex
(Alumni Clash XXAC-02, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-29

Duplex Cover art

When I first started forming my ideas about how music could be divided into styles or genres, I set the general body of rock above what I thought of as pop. It seemed clear that any above-average rock band was better than your average Debby Boone hit, for example. But genres in music are never cut and dried, and there’s long been a thread — sometimes called Art Pop — which superficially resembles mainstream pop but has something extra (or different) that sets it apart. Groups like 10cc operated in this area, as did Roxy Music in their later days. Sacha Mullin’s Duplex is a good current example. Mullin has appeared as a guest vocalist on Cheer-Accident’s recent album Putting off Death, but aside from that I was unfamiliar with his work. This is a set of nine sophisticated songs (plus a brief “Intro”) that are intelligently written, impeccably performed, and intriguingly arranged. The blend of acoustic, electric, and electronic instruments is seamless, with Mullin’s piano and other keyboards augmented by drums both real and programmed, guitar, strings, and lots of backing vocals from numerous guests. Cheer-Accident’s Thymme Jones contributes drums on a few tracks, veteran singer Emily Bindiger is on most, and members of the band Guzzlemug also appear. Many of these songs remind me of the best kind of musical theater, probably due to Mullin’s powerful tenor voice, precise enunciation, and controlled vibrato. But rather than coming off as fussy or overly studied, he manages to be expressive and precise at the same time. Emily Bezar is one of the few other singers I can think of who pulls it off. Duplex is one of the best examples of intelligent songcraft that I’ve heard in a long time. No, it doesn’t rock, but there’s more to life than rock.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Sacha Mullin

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gift - Awake and Dreaming – The Gift are a fairly new British group targeting the more accessible side of the progressive spectrum. They have lots of analog keys and such, although many songs are just a singer and an acoustic...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues