Hy Maya: The Mysticism of Sound & Cosmic Language (Smog Veil, 2017)

November 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hy Maya: The Mysticism of Sound & Cosmic Language

Hy Maya was a collective founded by Robert Bensick which included musicians who would later form Pere Ubu. This is a collection of previously unreleased recordings from 1972-3, and it doesn’t seem like an exaggeration to refer to them as Cleveland’s equivalent of Destroy All Monsters. Some of it, particularly “Dance of the Electromagnetic ZZZ (A Space Event In Time)”, is even alien enough to draw comparisons to early Throbbing Gristle (but not quite as abrasive), and there’s even some jazzier excursions in the orbit of Sun Ra, such as “The Fabric of Time & Space”. There’s some heavy, driving rock moments which could be likened to Krautrock, like “General Relativity is Relative”, and there’s also a brief lullaby with rushing water sounds (“Albert’s Lullaby”). A few pieces near the end of the first disc, as well as “A Quantum Mechanic Mambo (Bigfoot)” on the second, are lonely, flute-heavy excursions. “Just One Day (The Illision of Time)” is more of a gentle free-folk song. The sound quality is understandably rough and muddy, but these recordings are a rare glimpse into a previously untouched chapter of avant-rock history.

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