Stygian Stride: self-titled (Thrill Jockey, 2013)

March 28, 2013 at 12:04 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Stygian Stride

Stygian Stride

New solo kosmische synth project of Jimy SeiTang of Psychic Ills and Rhyton. Abandons the jammy psych-rock of his other bands for free-flowing synth explorations, and a few beat excursions. “Celestial Stems” starts things off and basically describes itself, a shimmering star-gazing beatless mood-setter. “Hindsight” ventures into pastoral downtempo techno, with lush synths and cavernous dripping effects. “Drift” has blippy beats and kind of a cool snarl to the synths, sort of feeling like it’s strutting past you wearing pitch-black shades, but not entirely in an aggressive or cocky way. “Taiga” has a similar type of cool electro-pulse, with gently pulsating arpeggios and some icy synths making their way to the forefront at about 2 minutes in, and remaining there for the rest of the track, growing a bit more towards the end. “Athanor Ascension” gets slightly more sinister, with a tense bassline and slow but considered beat structure. A few shades/patterns of synth textures are layered, leaving you with a clever stargazey sequence as the track ends. “Fade Into Bolivian” ends the album on a real ponder-the-cosmos note, with some very sci-fi alien-seeking synths, plus some birdcalls and dripping rainfall for good measure. Overall, a really good synth album, not too high-concept or complex, but appropriately cosmic and cool, without being too cool for school.

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