Ghryzly Atoms – Cassandra Complex: Episode 1 (DTS-011 / Siro545)

This? Oh, its just the album artwork for Ghryzly Atoms Cassandra Complex: Episode 1. The Eye of Mordor is watching you read this right now, and it is pleased that you have such a nice smile. It would like to get to know you better sometime. Whenever youre not busy, that is.

Artist: Ghryzly Atoms
Title: Cassandra Complex: Episode 1
Label: DucTape Smile / Sirona-Records
Cat#: DTS-011 / Siro545
Keywords: Experimental, New York, Ambient, Cybergrind, Electronica, Hip-Hop, Indie, Instrumental, Metal, Psychedelic, Psychedelica, Rock, Las Vegas
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

I had this stuck in my head earlier and needed respite. Luckily, we at Yeah I Know It Sucks received another request for a review! Why are people so nice as to almost always request we review good music, and not anything awful? I don’t know… but they should stop, because we’re getting spoiled! So… what can you expect to hear on this varied release? Here’s the rundown!

Track 1 is ‘3:33’… dat sexy sax! Out of nowhere, everything starts to sound more like a professional rock album while a voice tells us that we’re traveling into another dimension. Which dimension is that? A dimension of sound. A dimension of mind. A dimension in which disassociated voices talk to us about where we’re going at any given time, kind of like having schizophrenia or being on a tour bus.

The next track is ‘Black Iris (The Ocean)’. Ffffffwow. This is some amazing headspace we’ve entered. It’s sort of jazzy big beat, downtempo, trip hop, dub… really classy! I love music like this, it feels timeless and endless, very oceanic. “Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless… be water, my friend.”

‘One Eyed King’ is next. It begins with highly reverberated pizzicato strings, it’s sort of like modern classical breakbeat! The poetry is curious and wonderful, the music shimmers around it creating awe. Then the breaks come in, accompanied by this beautiful solo sample of vocals that makes you feel like laying out under the stars.

‘Conversations With Ghosts’ begins with vocal samples, adds piano and breakbeats as well as a trickle-down synthesizer and operatic vocal samples. Very gorgeous!!! You feel like you’re floating on air, or on a bed hovering through the sky at night. By the time the guitar came in I was someplace else, ecstatic.

Following this, ‘Hit Me!’ brings the sax back, it’s a little bit funk and a little bit soul. This is like… nuer nu jazz! Absolutely breathtaking. This is audiological porno for the soul. Toward the end, but not quite all the way there, things delve briefly into more electro-ish territory, before swinging back.

‘The Tragedy’ is some low-key, slow rollin’ on the prowl shit. Really nice vibe, a touch of the blues in the sound and the samples. By this point I’ve decided: I love this fucking album. It’s funny, because just yesterday I was reading something ridiculous (on Discogs, naturally) about how free music, net label music, etc. is all just a bunch of amateurish garbage and that free music and the proliferation of artists in the free scene are clogging up everything and thereby effecting the quality of music and taking money from professionals. What a load of shit! Just listen to this album… it’s amazing.

Afterward is ‘Clear As Crystal’, beginning with a sample of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and evolving out into some more nu jazz territory. Everything on this album echoes in perpetuam, it’s hard to find where one sound ends and another begins, and yet… so much space! Some of this album reminds me of goa… not really the overly trancy stuff, but in a downtempo way. Real mellow grooves, but very psychedelic!

Wasn’t sure at first if I heard sitar, guitar or didgeridoo at the beginning of ‘Drive Slow’. Things get really hazy here, it’s a very fragile ecosystem that the mix builds, a wild zone of sound. All of the downpitched sounds are like a mind melt. It’s like an cowboy in dayglo riding off into the sunset while on ayahuasca.

‘Hey Zeus’ is the next track, and I feel like a news broadcast is about to start… instead, an operatic Spanish(?) singer and then a glowing, melodic acoustic guitar. Neo-pagan breakbeat.

‘Sun Spot Ode’… after the vocal sample, things get almost neo-Latin swing with more lush, lovely breakbeats!

‘Phanerothyme (A Poet’s Garden)’ has some more breaks, whistling gushes of sound. Eventually, during a breakdown section the drums start to sound very booming and ’80s! I love it.

The last track is ‘LahLahLand’, featuring a choir, guitar and breaks… oh, and some filter work. Even flutes! Then a vocal snippet discussing American root music and the future-music of our generation. One person, surrounded by machines… very interesting!

Oh, Ghryzly Atoms… what have you done? This is an amazing album, I’ll just overstate that once again. There’s a lot to like, and (if the keywords weren’t a clue) an astonishing amount of diversity for one album – though, to my ears, a lot of those genre tags didn’t seem to fit at all. Albums that try to do much tend to come out sounding a bit fucked in the end, but this one flows and manages to genuinely surprise you at times with the amount of genre-digging it does for all of it’s samples, weaving them together into an original tapestry that sounds like it’s occupying several worlds at once. Downtempo breakbeats seem to be the thread that holds it all together. If I were the sort of person who reviewed albums by giving them stars, this one would have a bunch of them probably. I implore you… go and listen to this record… at either of the following two links!

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