Mandarin is a transport-thrill. Songwriter Jason Wortham's whispers are like souvenirs; reminders of quiet landmarks; the in-points for recollection; expression stripped to its core. These are the very smallest places he could begin--and it's the perfect place to start--because in the hands of guitarist Matt Leer, bassist/keyboardist Peter Salisbury, and drummer Dave Douglas, Wortham's hushed mantras often turn to contagion-code, grown from a singular, particulate, newly-expanding thought. Their music is the brightest bloom from the blackest black, with all those fitful colors in between. Whatever the trigger is for Mandarin, the result for the listener is a very thorough conscience-cleaning.