One could be forgiven for thinking that mind.in.a.box bigwig Stefan Poiss is taking cues regarding release schedules from Lil B’s mixtape catalog; at his current rate, Poiss is releasing a new album as frequently as I get my hair cut. I’m kidding, but only just. Since m.i.a.b’s 2012 LP Revelations, three of Poiss’ solo THYX records have been released (not to mention the Loomec side-project). With the release of Super Vision, it’s perhaps time to not only again consider what sounds are being explored outside of the purview of one of Our Thing’s most beloved bands, but also reevaluate how THYX fits into the broader landscape of Poiss’ work.
As we’ve said before, THYX has always had an “even the kitchen sink” approach to sound, and this LP is no exception. The bouncy “Forgotten” and the galloping “Waiting For You” make the case for Super Vision featuring more of a progressive trance influence than any work of Poiss’ outside of mind.in.a.box, but these are kept in constant balance with so many of the other sounds and grooves which are worked in that they certainly never stick out. Although feeling like the coherent work of a band proper (more on that later), there’s still enough of the hot-swapping of genres and sounds which has marked THYX from day one on Super Vision to ever keep it from dwelling on a particular mode or mood. Perhaps more than any other artist, Poiss has found a way to keep the “future” in futurepop front and center without ever regressing to the cliches which painted so many other people in the genre into a corner.
At the same time as it pushes THYX forward, Super Vision might also mark the first time Poiss has revisited the past. Not a general or cultural past, mind you, that’s already been handily done (most obviously on Retro), but his own individual musical past. “Will They Learn?” features both the vocal extremes we saw him exploring last year on Below The City and the dramatic rock builds and falls of m.i.a.b’s “Remember”, and fans of the earliest mind.in.a.box work should find much to enjoy in the bleepy paranoia of “Robots Don’t Lie”.
What started off like a way for Poiss to keep his hand in between mind.in.a.box records now nearly has as many LPs to its name as the project from which it extended. Maybe more importantly, what originally felt like a fun and loose collection of whatever tracks he felt like working with now feels as fully composed as m.i.a.b ever was (minus the cyperpunk narrative): in spite of the sonic variances, the wistful feeling that pervades much of Super Vision (perhaps best exemplified in the delicate touch of “Believe”) offers a unifying thread. What I’m saying is that it’s time we stop thinking of THYX as an m.i.a.b side project, and instead as one of Stefan Poiss’ two bands. We should be so lucky that he’s willing to pull double shifts.