Ichtyor Tides – Eever Schores (Siro532)

Looking at the art for Eever Schores, an album by Ichtyor Tides, several things occurred to me, in no particular order. One, the theme song to that awful television show Cheers popped suddenly into my head. I dont know why. Second, I started imagining a fog slowly coming out from over the dark sea and the animate corpses of dead seamen rising slowly from the banks to drag me into a watery grave. Third, I thought, "What a pretty sunrise!" Of course, it could also be a sunset, and I think that if it were a sunset I'd like it more, but my gut is telling me it is a sunrise despite what I want to believe.

Artist: Ichtyor Tides
Title: Eever Schores
Label: Sirona-Records
Cat#: Siro532
Keywords: Ambient, Drone
Reviewer: Alex Spalding



Jack Torrance with an ax, Patrick Bateman with an axe, George Lutz with… uh, an axe, again. You should never be alone too long, and certainly not with an axe laying around… otherwise, that troubling voice from within, the other self you know as the one you keep locked away in your head may begin to call out to you once more from underneath it’s chains, in a voice suddenly so much louder. “Hey. Kinda chilly here by myself, eh?.. Nobody to talk to… starting to feel a little bit weird… AXE MURDER AXE MURDER HERE COMES JOHNNY, FRWAAOOORG!!!” And then you’re gone, dude.

Of course, you could always sidestep all that jazz and break the desperate monotony – and the accompanying psychological wrath for the other warm-blooded creatures nearby – with a nice ambient drone record! One like Eever Schores by Ichtyor Tides, for instance… a perfect companion to stave off the cabin fevers and deep-seated lust for blood that come so very often in the cold season, a season now at it’s close here for me. Why, then, is it that I hadn’t gotten a copy of this for myself back in November, before I got stir crazy and went on an axe murdering spree, making a mausoleum of the neighborhood and reducing the once mostly friendly denizens of the block to mere lumps of red meat, gristle and bone? My stupid luck, I suppose! I just didn’t hear it soon enough. No time for regrets, though, I’m too busy enjoying the music… oh, and let me tell you how!

The first track here, titled ‘De Dreize’, is close to fourteen and one half minutes long and begins with a blast, kind of like a subdued explosion that soon gives way to static noise frequencies. I feel like I’m listening to some strange shortwave broadcast… there are repetitive measures of noise. A toxic feedback grows in the mix, overtaking it for awhile like gangrene necrosis. Yet, there’s a beauty here, as is so often the case with complex noise drone pieces for the palates of those of us who’ve exposed ourselves often to their lurid charms. I begin to hear – or imagine hearing – peculiarly vocal sounding patterns. Maybe it’s that isolation creeping in again… perhaps we should stop staring at that axe in the corner of the room. Part of you might wish to crawl onto the floor and lay in a ball formation alone, and that is perhaps the best way to hear this music. Disturbing carnival merry-go-round spinning faster and faster, guttural demonic voices spit wordless curses into our minds. Harsh noise getting more pronounced, like something that must explode any time now into a white-hot ball of energy or implode, and us with it. It’s a searing pain, but one worth the undertaking of the experience. It ends with bell tones, but toward the end there feel to be enigmatic ghosts of choirs, a lit up sepulcher and pageantry of imaginal ghouls harmonizing with an intensity I’ve barely heard matched and, yet, I might just be delirious from the… close to fourteen and one half minutes of drone I’ve endured! So far from fatigue, I feel exhilarated and ready to hear what is next!

What is next, then, is ‘Sath Eart Transmission’. A deep bit of sonic drone in the high frequencies comes in, like a weather warning signal at pitch. These ultra lovely pad string chords come in underneath, lushing everything up for us quite a lot, and along with these sounds is the faintest traces of some kind of Compu-Rhythm type groove that is barely audible and almost more a vibration somewhere below everything else, distorting in it’s lack of presence. I’m mesmerized, as if I were transported suddenly into a tropical rainforest, standing at the brink of a massive waterfall, the horizon nothing but canopy and falls. Scary, yes; scary like the shrill, ceaseless noise I’m hearing, but also beautiful. Like everything. Immersion is mandatory. Toward the end it begins to break up, cut out, like the vision was only holographic or a dream that became too lucid to last.

In Mournance’ is the final piece, and the longest! Over twenty-five minutes in length, in fact. Rapid laser rims pan left and right, there are electronic scribbles in the mids. There’s also a dead hum, center channel. Cold, lifeless; technological sarcophagus. There is this constant rattling of computer chip panels on a spaceship too far gone to ever return home. Signals, noises, warbles, drones. But, is it just the meaningless chatter of machines, or is there an emotional quotient here? I set my mind to detecting it, and could only uncover more of the same chilly feed of data… then, as if in answer, liquid sounds force through a different angle, suddenly everything sounds as if dipped in a pool of fluid, and I’m musing to myself how fucking insane this music would sound if you had taken DMT after reaching the half-way mark. I hear a creaking door just then, the sound of a bell vibration without natural decay, just going and going, and the music begins to sound as if the equalization is being shifted in some way, like everything in the mix has been hit by a shrink ray. It would seem to me to be impossible to not get some kind of physical sensation when this occurs, at least if you’ve been listening intently up to this point. I feel like I’m listening now to an alarm going off, but not reverberating naturally, behaving naturally, just continuing on infinitely. The computer chip feed returns. It is as if it had been silently preparing this experiment on our psyches the whole time and is now collecting and analyzing the results we’ve given it, excitedly I might add – or as excitedly as silicon can get. For awhile, the chips sound like they’re singing, there’s a free-floating micro galactic pad panning. Everything disappears then in an electric cloud of panning lasers and then sharp drones like the slow-dying battery of an alien craft.

The more I ponder this album, the more I find the notion of it is most aptly symbolized in the description of the artwork I hastily scribed. No, not the part about Cheers, or the sea-bloated, risen carcasses of deceased sailors or whatever, but the part about not knowing whether the sun is in it’s ascent or descent along the horizon. This album is like an eternal twilight, as if time had been stilled at the sun’s rise or fall and we’d forgotten whether it was coming or going. Oh, sure, for the first hundred years or so of skyward stasis we’d probably be capable of recalling at what time of day it had initially frozen, but after that it would be like… who knows? Who cares? This album is one I feel I would take a different mood from at each listen, tracks one and three bounce from cold to psychedelic, track two from warm and embracing to depressive and back again. It would be like a “glass half full or half empty” sort of thing. A matter of perception. To preoccupy ourselves with philosophical conundrums like these would likely drive us quite soon into madness, out into the snow, into the icy labyrinth, with an axe… but what the fuck am I even talking about, anyway? Here’s a link to the album!


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