steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Surface of Eceyon

"Dragyyn" CD

Strange Attractors Audio House

Genres: drone rock, psyechedelic drone, ambient

Strange Attractors
PO Box 13007
Portland OR

Jun 30 - Jul 6 2003

I can still remember when Strange Attractors Audio House was a tiny little thing, and Indieville was too.  Back when we were still experimenting with a frequently-malfunctioning banner and a highly regrettable sidebar (the nightmares...), SAAH had just put out its second release, Steffen Basho-Junghans' Inside, after a brief flirtation with destructo-rock courtesy of The Lowdown.  They sent promo copies, I wrote reviews.

Gradually we both grew up, SAAH eventually releasing countless legendary albums (I can still name them all by heart), and Indieville growing out of its tired white-and-red-on-black format into this newer, much spiffier layout.

Now, many years down the line, I'm reviewing the label's fourteenth record, and I can say once again that they've got yet another hit on their hands.  Mediocrity isn't a word at the Strange Attractors HQ, and nor is it with Surface of Eceyon, whose perfectionism has not only crafted yet another doozy of a record, the mystical Dragyyn, but has also warranted a slight name change, adding a 'y' to what once was Surface of Eceon.

Taking an airy, drifting approach, much like they did on their debut album, The King Beneath the Mountain, Surface of Eceyon's new album is full of music that will appeal to fans of Landing, Yume Bitsu, and Planetarium Music, as well as psychedelic drone rock enthusiasts in general.  Things start off well right off the bat with the powerful psychedelic guitar whirlwind of "Stolen Wind," but the mood eventually slows down for the drifting, subdued "Council Is Called," the perfect song to listen to in the dark.  "Over Land, Over Ice," meanwhile, is a ten minute plus epic that will carry you over the edge into pure bliss.  The album's longest piece, however, is the last one, "Freeing the Wind."  Almost nineteen minutes in length, its mystic, slow-moving song structure will positively move you.  The inclusion of a bit of electronic synth work buried under the feedback-drenched guitar textures propels it to perfection.  It eventually picks up speed near the end, slowing down in the last minute to let the album close with the sound of the ocean.

The rest of Dragyyn follows in a similar manner, packed with beautiful, layered psychedelic drone rock that is just as terrific as that on Surface of Eceyon's last album.  Love life.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]