Mycena - Serendisarray - Stereo Stickman

Mycena Serendisarray


Known for their purely improvised albums, the self-defined instrumental cult Mycena are a Croatian collaborative project with four albums already to their name. Their approach is to fearlessly push the boundaries of musical expression, to find new flavours of psychedelic intensity and depth, and to limit nothing and no one during that process.

In 2023, the result of this was the uniquely conceptual album Serendisarray – a seven-track collection of dark and dauting yet musically supreme tracks, and a project that consistently nudges the mind of the listener to explore lesser traversed territories of imaginative thought.

What proves a fantastic title is Serendisarray, a word that only brings up links to this band and this album, and leaves the listener to draw their own meanings from it. The same goes for many of these titles, beginning with the ferocity and fire of Lacrima Futurum, and proceeding through eight original compositions.

For Lacrimia Futurum, we’re introduced to the freedom of the Mycena sound. A looping guitar riff and heavier wave of distortion meeting with chaotic organ keys, power chords and the almost chant-like roar of metal. Familiar aspects elevate unfamiliar ones, psychedelic sound-play ensues as things evolve, and the latter half engulfs its listener in a profound and spiralling sense of inescapable movement and volume.

As we move into Conundrum, the tone is recognisable as Mycena – the amplification and guitar play, the weight and melody united, all has a thread of identity about it. There’s also a mildly jazz-life freestyle aspect to certain layers, which contrasts the repeating power-chord and riff combos that make up the underlying pulse of each track. That quality resounds brilliantly throughout the sudden introduction of saxophone on the notably brief yet enchanting Erato.

Then for Triangulus, the music feels like a genuine grunge jam, unpredictable and somewhat angsty in its uniting of musicians – a fuzzy metal energy built from an irritable desire to simply shred and break rules and electrify the playing canvas. Equilibrium follows and brings with it a mighty degree of contrast and a strong use of distinct, recognisable warped riffs and voices. Unsettling and captivating, this one effectively recaptures any wandering minds with its sheer and indiscernible expression.

Apatheia falls into place quite naturally, childhood voices again drawing attention, before we meet a track that’s a little quicker in its underlying groove and riff. The title refers to a state of mind in which one is not disturbed by the passions, and quite aptly, the music is somewhat chaotic and circus-like, even dizzying, but with the smoothness of sax to soften the blow. The sound is defiantly rooted amidst Mycena now – unexpected but undeniably true to the band’s artistic voice.

We finish with the acoustic and dissonant layers of Angulimala. The shortest track of the album, a Spanish-style strum of the guitars, almost bagpipe sounding flickers of feeling elsewhere – another devoted fusion of rhythmic consistency and outright unlimited off-beat volume.

Not for the faint of heart but definitely for those looking to embrace the fluidity of uninhibited creativity and musical play, Serendisarray showcases the combined talents of artists Aleksandar Vrhovec and Marin Mitić, as well as a handful of session musicians; including drummer Gio Maucieri, saxophonist Vedran Momčilović, and Viktor Vrhovec on clarinet. It’s a committed and continuous exploration of story and scene, but no doubt presents a realm of thought unique to each and every listener. Mycena pave their own way entirely as a unit, and the music speaks clearly on behalf of that.

Download Serendisarray via Bandcamp.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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