Review: New Limited Edition ‘Solar System’ CS comp featuring Comets Ov Cupid, Falcon Arrow, Milan and RYKYGNYZR (RELEASE SHOW Friday at Eagles Club)
Ah, the 4-way split single cassette compilation, the most beloved of all types of musical releases. Am I right?
Despite the, how do you say it, unorthodox nature of the release, four local bands have made it very worth your while to invest in a four song cassette if you like heady, experimental guitar and synth music. In fact, this release is easily is one of my favorite pieces of music released so far this year, and one that I think should be very appealing if you also assume yourself a member of the intended audience. Each band took a track on the tape, released under the ‘How A Member Of The Kingdom Of Heaven Might Appear’ moniker and titled Solar System, and all four tracks are killer. We were lucky to get our hands on a copy and will set out to let you know a bit about what to expect from the tape, which is getting released in a limited edition set of 55 when the bands come together at the Eagles Club Friday evening.
Comets Ov Cupid open the tape with the sludgiest, haziest portion of the tape with the song “Loki.” This is space rock for the true believers, with the bass buried in muck and the guitars sweeping epically through the mix. Blending in some Sabbath-worthy riffs, the song moves through a few phases in its short but vibrant lifespan. The most aggressive of the comps output comes first, and it hits like a epic, prog-infused hammer. The second track of the A-side is the mutant post-rock duo Falcon Arrow, who deliver the track “Kryspoly.” Like much of their great catalog, the track is a metallic whirlwind of brittle melodies and thundering bass, all rambling forward across an expansive terrain that seems to spread as far as the eye can see. As murky as the Comets Ov Cupid track is, Falcon Arrow create the kind of heavy weightlessness you sense when you see one of those giant army transport planes somehow gliding across the sky, blotting out the sun. Halfway through the tape, it’s almost as if the title of the CS could be a theme or something. Who would have guessed?
The second side of the tape starts really floating into space, opening on an agressivly lush, serene note with “Communications from the Sky” by Milan. They are the only band I didn’t know about before settling in to the tape, and their addition to the CS makes me excited to dig more into their work. A warm synth journey that could soundtrack the moment in a movie when someone is barreling back to earth from space, the time when the protagonist is burning through the atmosphere and redemption is near, but not without a healthy dose of coiled tension to make sure it isn’t too warm and fuzzy. It is a rich komische track that I really enjoyed, expertly setting the tone for the B-side. The last song on the comp is from RYKYGNYZYR and it follows the path forged by it’s B-side brethren in exploring more textural ambience than the rough-and-tumble, string-instrument-centric material on the flip side of the CS. “Codeon l” churns slowly over a repeating synth note, reeling the listener into a hypnotic trance with a subtle but persistent groove that is occasionally punctuated by guitar stings and countering synth runs. It is a track that is absorbing in a quicksand sort of way, wrapping itself slowly around you over multiple minutes of sonic shenanigans. You think you are in control, but you find yourself slowly swaying back and forth, lost in a magnetic trench. A heady end to a tape that, while short, doesn’t lack in varying examples of how to create richly emotional music without needing any lyrics.
All four tracks are worth the price of admission, and the sum is even better than the parts, flowing between parallel genres in smooth fashion. This tape finds four bands who are stretching our minds through experimental music, all using slightly different tools but striving for a sound that touches the outer bounds of our earthy experinces. If you’re looking for music to take you for a ride, Solar System is something you shouldn’t miss out.
The joint release show will be held Friday evening at the Eagles Club #34 in South Minneapolis featuring all four bands. It’ll cost you $5 and starts at 9pm. Get there early to snag one of these great tapes. More info/RSVP on Facebook.