the barrier of skin

you can buy the barrier of skin through iTunes!


or you can buy a CD copy from me, it's only $10CAN plus shipping and taxes where applicable.

if you have a paypal account you can buy it now

or you can contact me if you'd like to pay by cheque.

the barrier of skin notes

the barrier of skin is my third album. By this point I was alot more confident with what I was doing, and there was a distinct sound that I felt comfortable with. I'm really pleased with how this one came out, it has some really beautiful passages if I say so myself, and I think it was the best representation of my work to that time.

once again the cover is done by Katie Miranda. She's just so amazing. She was able to bring elements of both light and darkness into this cover and it just seems so appropriate given the music on the disc. I love the use of the mask on both the front and back covers, and I love the way Adrienne the cover model looks out from the frame. It's kind of interesting to note that when Katie was shooting pictures for this cover she took a bunch of them with Adrienne wearing the mask, and then when the film was running out she took a few more casual shots of Adrienne without the mask just for the fun of it. Out of all the shots the casual ones were my favorites, so she used those and imposed the mask on top. I think it turned out great... Katie is just soooooo amazing...

control is one of the piano type songs that I always add on my discs, kind of a waltz-y number, very minimal instrumentation. I'm really pleased with it, and of the piano type songs this is prolly my favorite. There's a version of it with vocals sung by Susan Morton of Chocolate Grinder on the Related Textures compilation that really works well too...

the eyes of fairuza balk, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT about Fairuza Balk so much as it's about eyes, which she undoubtedly has a great pair of. It's about finding treasure in things that one might not see otherwise, and it's about beauty being anywhere you look for it.

here are a few comments made about the barrier of skin

"quiet and pulsing, mara’s torment lays out soundscapes perfect for a dream. Nearly minimal in nature, these dreamscapes tinkle with subtle brilliance much stars in the night sky. When you lie down on the ground at night, out in the country and away from city lights and sounds, you can see an infinite number of stars if the night is clear enough. There’s something about lying there like that, feeling so small and alone in the vast darkness above. But there remains a sense of wonder, of how big it all is. Put on some headphones, close your eyes, and listen to The Barrier of Skin, it will inspire those same sensations."
- Laura B./ Sublevel 203

"pleasing soundscapes aren't absent from this release. They just find themselves tucked in between songs with a fuller structure, which really stand out as the highlights of the album. Songs like "The Last Veil" have a dreamlike atmosphere, with no rhythm or melody restricting them. Flowing, symphonic/electronic sounds trickle through the air, hypnotically embracing the listener."
- Scott Mallonee/ Revolt

"the latest release from Toronto’s Rik MacLean is a decided move out of the chilled blackness of Across For Show into warmer, enveloping realms of sound. The Barrier Of Skin is almost sensual in it’s textures; from the unfolding delicacy of Dreams Of Insects and the lovingly caressing Maybe Not, the album moves through different realms of encompassing emotions. Dreamlike flickering scatters across The Eyes Of Fairuza Balk, murmuring peril infuses An Unfortunate Error and heavenward movements swirl within Andromeda. There is a fabulously spectral aspect to the title track, giving the name The Barrier Of Skin an inference of the spirit, or a ghost, being irreversibly separated from the body; a marked sadness and sense of loss pervades throughout the piece."
- Phosphor/ Electroage

"this ambient project goes well beyond the scope of many out there. As many dark themed ambient artists can tend to be dull and boring, Rik strays away by creating an album of tranquil beauty that a lot of the big name ambient artists out there are still trying to grasp."
- Sparrow/ The Seventh Circle

"his latest release is another step into the soundscape of Rik's brain. Electronic ambience pulled off with a more minimalist style, the music of Mara's Torment will sit just behind your field of vision and wrap its emotional strains around you from there. It will never shake you and provide a billowy environment for your psyche to come out and play. And how often does that happen? When was the last time you've sat back and peeled back the bricks and mortar of your defenses and let your soul skip around in its birthday suit, eh?"
- Marcus Pan/ Legends Magazine

"have you ever been overwhelmed by subtlety? The Barrier of Skin has that effect; (for the most part) its strength lies in its restraint, presenting delicate yet powerful electronic movements."
- David J Opdyke/ The AmbiEntrance

"the artistry that is most evident with this release is all the characters who come to life just from the creation of melody and harmony. Maras Torment continues to challenge the listener to view their mental landscapes to find that total essence of their soul while providing a whole new approach to the sound spectrum."
- Mike Ventarola/ Starvox