Recommended by us on 5th November 2010.
‘Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window’ is the long anticipated new album by CYCLOBE. Essentially a duo comprising Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower, CYCLOBE have created a thrilling and compelling collection of music, which moves effortlessly from realms of cavernous cacophony to moments of blissful delicacy. The first new CYCLOBE music to surface since their 'death-concrét' missile ‘Paraparaparallelogrammatica’ (an album made in collaboration with NURSE WITH WOUND), ‘Wounded Galaxies’ showcases major new developments, with contributions from Thighpaulsandra (synthesiser/piano), John Contreras (cello) Cliff Stapleton (hurdy-gurdy), and Michael J. York (duduk/pipes). Together, they've created an immersive pan-psychedelic dream warren, rich in detail and surprise. Album opener ‘How Acla Disappeared From Earth’ rides on celestial waves of shimmering synthesisers and vocals, with York's duduk providing rhapsodic arabesques. The album's longest piece, ‘The Woods Are Alive With the Smell of His Coming’ (which was premiered in the United Kingdom at The Tate Gallery St. Ives, as a part of the exhibition 'The Dark Monarch: Magick and Modernity in British Art') is a 17-minute Pagan opus which fully manifests CYCLOBE’s flair for endless invention, developing from a subtly shifting percussive motif, through multiple layers and dizzying cello crescendos, into a truly disorientating sonic invocation. Side Two commences with ‘We'll Witness the Resurrection of Dead Butterflies (Three Moons)’, in which Stapleton's hurdy-gurdy transmutes into a keening blizzard of sound. The haunting ‘Sleeper’, with its clustered piano chords and Brown's beautiful, disembodied vocals, evokes an elegant otherworldliness that's finally overwhelmed by the monstrous electronic paroxysm of ‘Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window’, concluding the album on surges of rapturous cosmic convulsion. ‘Wounded Galaxies' front cover features a stunning artwork by the renowned American artist Fred Tomaselli, whose work has been exhibited at the Whitney and MoMA. Thrower and Brown are well known for their work in the legendary group COIL (Thrower played on the band's seminal 1980s/early 1990s releases, while Brown was involved in their 21st century studio and live incarnations). Among other recent credits, Thrower plays in UNICAZÜRN and the improvising group The AMAL GAMAL ENSEMBLE, whilst Brown appears on CURRENT 93's recent, highly acclaimed album ‘Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain’. CYCLOBE’s unique and complex sound-world has been developing and mutating ever since their debut album released in 1999 ‘Luminous Darkness’ and its unearthly successor ‘The Visitors’. With ‘Wounded Galaxies’, the group has not only produced their finest and most ambitious work to date, they’ve created an album which can stand tall with the year’s most innovative and exciting releases.
Side One 1. How Acla Disappeared From Earth 2. The Woods Are Alive With the Smell of His Coming Side Two 3. We'll Witness the Resurrection of Dead Butterflies (Three Moons) 4. Sleeper The Blue Towers, The Copper Bells Ghost Ribbon The Unknowable Index 5. Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window
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