Album Review: Jeff Mills – The Eyewitness

The Breakdown

...The 'Wizard' delivers...

“Trauma and the shock effect of it – the leftover residue of harsh reality so impactful that it shapes the way you imagine, envision and calculate your position in regard to everything and everyone around you. A new type of psychological radius evolves. Boundaries are reinforced. Relationships are recessed. A damaged brief system float aimlessly. Vulnerable to and for anything reminiscent of a worthy cause. The truth about facts became satirical monologue, dead end expressions that have no critical arrangement. We all know someone that either has been or will be.” – Jeff Mills

The Eyewitness reveals a habitual pattern in the way it symbolizes a mirror reflection of mankind in our most vulnerable moments. It is the forthcoming album of Jeff Mills and it is composed from the perspective of an unknowingly complicit bystander and it is at the very least, psychologically pathological in nature. What this release is essentially proposing is an admission to the diagnosis that no one is immune to shock and trauma. Not the accuser or the accused. And this abnormality s culturally and generally transmittable – handed down and passed over to one another disguised as righteous theatre.

As an artist, what Mills is notoriously known for is the perspectives and paths he chooses to approach hefty, complex, and sometimes, awkward subjects. The best way to recognize the narratives of his most recent album works such as “The Clairvoyant”, an eerie transcending album that plays through like a Seance for creating a bridge to reach another dimension or “Mind Power Mind Control”, a cautionary warning about the consequences of supporting deceit, mind control and mass mental persuasion is to start by first taking a moment to look at yourself in a mirror. He’s suggesting sound as a reflection and what we might be able to see in ourselves. Proposing that we might be the problem and a solution. In the same vicinity of his recent solo albums, the direction, scope or target of The Eyewitness is first about us, then about it.

More than the few previous albums he’s released lately, this one has a unique relationship in terms of imagery and visual treatments that represent the concept. The front cover shows Mills, neatly dressed in a black suit that appears to be caught in the act of doing something methodically as he cohorts to support with a bright white type of surgical light towards the viewer. Stark and in the act of…….something offensive – it could be some type of hypnotic machine at work. Other photos show him in darkened spaces. Remote and deep in thought.

Other clues are the titles of the tracks such as “Sacred Iridescent Mirror (The Pledge)”: this refers to the act of installing value and credit to something ambiguous and “Menticide” which means the systematic effort to undermine and destroy a person’s values and beliefs. In the opening track, “in A Traumatized World” we hear the narration spoken by Mills. In a language he specifically created for this album. It’s a dialect that is designed to be undistinguishable, but spoken with a compassion that it could be sympathized with. In the latter part of the track, it reaches a climatic point. Meaning, “it” has happened. And the album is the evidence.

On extra note: In this day and age, it’s comforting to see a musician [like Jeff Mills] administer music conceptually without any conditions attached. The artistry and craft of using sound and rhythm to bring forth a concern, a warning or the result of a diagnosis to the listener.

Verdict: Mr Mills serves up another solid release for the Axis label. A welcome new chapter in a long list of entries that define his huge body of work. As with his last release, this once more is ‘A Trip’. Full of atmosphere and depth, coupled with his iconic percussive arrangements, it’s what we have come to expect, and not wanting to point out the obvious, what we expect is quality, and quality is what we get. Having said that, I believe he is regarded as a pioneer in his field because he simply doesn’t pander to what is expected, instead he follows his own narrative, exploring different concepts and opinions on our actual existence through music (that and the fact he’s a bloody good DJ/Producer) The ‘Wizard‘ delivers.

Track List:

A1 In A Traumatized World

A2 Menticide

B1 Those Who Worked Against Us

B2 Mass Hypnosis

C1 Hold And Command

C2 Wonderous Butterfly

D1 Sacred Iridescent Mirror (The Pledge)

D2 In A Traumatized World (Human Toll Mix)

D3 Indoctrination

Available Now @

Album Credits: Vocal arrangements in A1 “In A Traumatized World” by Jeff Mills / The Eyewitness is composed, produced and performed by Jeff Mills for Axis Records. Sound enhancement by Steve Kovacs. Published by Millsart/Edition Carola. Front/back cover photographs by Jacob Khrist. Artwork by Annita Plastica.

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