Once again, I present a [syzygy] album. Once again, it has an entirely different sound than anything that has come from the project before.
What ties [syzygy]’s albums together is an approach of minimalistic experimentation and a musical atmosphere of unease. In the case of [visitor], the experiment was to see what I could do with just my untuned piano and a fretless bass. In the case of [ouroboros], it was to see what could be done with only a mixing board plugged into itself. With [xendeavor one], the experiment was to delve headfirst into the world of microtonal* electronic music.
The vast majority of Western music uses the 12 equal divisions of the octave tuning system (12edo). These songs use 7 other possible EDOs (10, 11, 15, 19, 31, 37, and 85), an overtone scale, and an undertone scale.
The term “microtonal” tends to conjure expectations of extremely dissonant, noisy, and/or unstructured music for some people because a lot of music labeled “microtonal” fits those descriptions. But it doesn’t have to! There is plenty of melody and harmony available to utilize within these systems. And you get the bonus of unique intervals and chords that are impossible in 12edo.
Since I discovered microtonality a few years ago I have really wanted to make this album. I tried to start a couple of times and was never happy with my results but this time it all clicked. I am very excited to share this with the world.
* If after reading this you have no idea what I’m talking about here, see the “Microtonality” section of my Loiterer – Adrift writeup for some further explanation. Or check out the Wikipedia article.
Are you bummed that TabIt’s Tab Area disappeared, leaving us without our database of beloved songs?
If so, you’re in luck! I figured out a way to back up the entire site (which adds up to nearly 300,000 files) and was doing so regularly specifically because I was concerned about this eventually happening. Hopefully the original comes back online someday… but if not at least we still have all the tabs.
Would love help with adding a working search function if anyone has knowledge of such wizardry.
…On paper, Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze should just be another ambient black metal band, but they are a sweet, sweet baby of some of the decade’s best-blackened offerings. While tragically underrated, Offerings of Flesh and Gold is a lovely fusion of sounds ancient and modern, offering furious black tremolos and riffs, doom percussion, hypnotic repetition, and unhinged vocals, all drenched in cold waves of ambiance and noise. It seems a doozy at three tracks and 47 minutes, but there never feels like a moment of filler, resulting in a surprisingly accessible listen. Mark this one down as one of the year’s most surprising…
…I recently made the offhand comment to a friend that they should listen to this album from start to finish uninterrupted, in a dark room, on good quality headphones. And then I told them that it would change their life. The more I think about it, the less sure I am that it was a joke. A truly immersive listen to Offerings of Flesh and Gold is a powerful experience. Rolling between atmospheric parts and blistering black metal, Offerings grabs on in an incredibly visceral way. Meditative and ritualistic, the album takes me to a different place when I allow myself the time to be immersed by it in that manner. I walk away at the end and feel like I’m entering the world anew from somewhere slightly different…