I recently discovered the difference between a maze and a labyrinth.
A labyrinth has a single route. It’s fairly linear and you won’t exactly be hitting any dead ends. There is a single entrance and no exit. There is only a center. You exit the same way you entered.
Labyrinths are interesting because they have a spiritual element. In ancient lore, they often represented pilgrimage, reflection, and even the search for God.
However, a maze is more of an exploration of spatial awareness and intelligence. It’s meant to gauge cognitive characteristics of the participant.
A maze has several different entry and exit points. A maze is a puzzle. A maze has difficulty levels. There’s twists, turns, and plenty of dead ends. A maze is chaotic.
Throughout my journey with Trading Basics by Palm, I felt like I was navigating through a series a twisted corridors.
But was it a maze? Or a labyrinth?
I’d argue it’s both.
The record, like mazes, is a mess of chaos. Twisted, full of dead ends, and left to countlessly retrace your steps. It’s a challenge, but there’s pleasure in it. The album’s avant-garde nature lends itself to this quality. It makes for quite an enjoyable experience.
But how is it a labyrinth? This is a bit harder to explain. Like the maze’s cousin, Trading Basics is a pilgrimage of endurance and faith. As you continue through the record, you shuffle slowly with your destination in mind. No, I’m saying that it’s so shitty that you can’t wait until it’s over. Rather, I’m saying that while listening to this thing, you feel like you’ll come upon an incredible, life-changing realization about the universe at the end.
Want to know what I’m talking about? Go see for yourself.