Shuffling through Colin Fisher’s extensive discography is eye-opening and intimidating. He has done a vast array of work for countless labels, with endless collaborators, and in different styles. Chameleonlike in some aspects so that he can shapeshift and plug into so many zones, Fisher also has an uncanny ability to put his own stamp on whatever he’s involved in. The more of his work I’ve explored, the more I recognize his style and sound as soon as I hear him on something else. That he is able to walk that fine line in an almost effortless manner is a testament to the mountain of talent he’s perched upon.
Reflections of the Invisible World is his fifth, and best, solo effort. Built mostly around guitar and saxophone, Fisher builds a vast, immersive world that shifts the further you go along the intricate, vividly-colored path. He paints with a dense palette. On “Unchanging Awareness,” a river of introspective sax drones flit through the air, lighter than clouds while pitch-shifted guitars skitter across in the shadows. Interconnecting these two contrasting sounds is a common occurrence throughout the album. Fisher finds a way to hypnotically combine the sharp edges of guitar wail with the smooth jazz-infused sax sequences on the noirish “Double Image.” Darkened corridors and smoke-filled rooms have never been so inviting.
While Fisher’s sax work often shines brightest, I find myself continually drawn to his guitar playing. “Monadic Mirror” reminds me of one of my favorite guitar albums from the last 15 years, Pospulenn’s Sun People Sleep Walker, if it was coasting on a different astral shore. Bright tones bubble up from an underground aquifer, rising toward blurry shapes moving in the sky. Lamenting the inevitable collapse of the surrounding environment, Fisher cranks up the flanger and chorus to fatten up the underlying foundations, adding countless textural layers as the piece pushes higher and higher. With “Salient Charm,” similar zones are scavenged but the added saxophone softens the margins.
When you first see the cover for Reflections of the Invisible World, before you hear a single note, you get a preview for the journey ahead. Bright colors, indescribable shapes, organic backgrounds, and a hint of something psychedelic engage the part of your brain you need firing on all cylinders to truly get lost inside Colin Fisher’s opulent sonic maze. Reflections of the Invisible World is a magical place to be.