When we awarded a perfect five-out-of-five stars to Ensemble, the latest release from Jon Mueller’s sprawling Death Blues project, it wasn’t because it was necessarily better than any other Milwaukee album we’ve heard this year. It was because it was in an entirely different league altogether. The Volcano Choir drummer has never been one for modest gestures, and Ensemble is his most ambitious move to date: co-created by composer William Ryan Fritch, it’s a huge, teeth-rattlingly dense instrumental meditation on life, death, and everything in between. Put simply, it’s a stunner.

Equally stunning is the packaging for the record’s vinyl release, which leans heavily on handmade masks created by late artist Lillian Rammel. Those masks figure prominently in a new video for one of Ensemble’s many jaw-dropping compositions, “Languaging.” Directed by Kaveh Soofi, the clip combines Rammel’s masks with slow-mo ink blots to create a hypnotic experience that perfectly meshes with Death Blues’ otherworldly sound. Soak it all in below. [via SPIN]

DEATH BLUES: “Languaging” from rhythmplex on Vimeo.

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.