Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Jeff Surak-Eris I Dysnomia; eh? Records #118, cassette, 2021


Recent big life changes have rendered Disaster Amnesiac unable to really think, let alone blog, but thanks to Public Eyesore/eh? Records and a laptop on loan from Mrs. Amnesiac, I'm back, however briefly, and digging on delicious, intriguing drones and tones from Jeff Surak and his recent Eris I Dysnomia cassette! 

Side A's entirety is made up of Parasite Lost, in which discrete elements are blended into a whole, that while seemingly simple on its face, rewards repeated listens. It's been fun to just give in to Parasite's granular depths, and while Surak hints at clues being given to an attentive listener, whose task is then to start their own mental journey within the sounds, the track is juicy enough to go beyond being mere intellectual exercise. Indeed, as I've listened, I have enjoyed flights from the various sounds' colors and textures as they've floated past. It's been quite pleasurable to take the trip that these sounds can induce within an attentively focused imagination. Layers are mixed in ways that evoke wheat pasted poster fragments on old power poles; big tone washes give glimpses of ozone-saturated skies; feedback sounds take me to late night street scenes of buzzing electrical lines; bits of the overtones series whirl by in technicolor; mysterious clanks and clangs move the mind to some imagined junkyard on the outskirts of town (mine is in SF's China Basin, near 3rd St.) These actions all occur within a very seamlessly crafted work of Musique Concrete. Parasite Lost does a fine job of fusing technique with artistry. 

On Side B, we find four individual tracks. Concupiscent Strings utilizes what sounds like loose metallic guitar strings for a study in quivery. These treated strings throw off glistening, gamelan sounds and brief clips of pure white noise as Surak digs deeply into their physicality. Gravelly, gritty physicality for the ears here. Next up, on Asphalt Muzak, strange start-stop modalities are derived from.....something. Surak's admonition to a listener "finding their own direction" is instructive here. This track has an opaque quality that makes Disaster Amnesiac feel as though I'm immersed in some kind of underwater vehicle and descending. Not exactly blissful, but intriguing nonetheless. Stuck features a fusion of analog synth sounds, bubbling and burping in contrast to wider drone tones. It's as if one has found a way out of the sinking ship of the previous track and into a cave of luminous crystals and bizarre rock formations. It's very lovely to inhabit this mental space as the underwater lights reflect off of the roof! Percussive attacks then bolster a kind of Space Lounge Music and you hear a voice intoning some kind of spoken language, but you can't really figure out what it's saying, and then it gets blasted out by washes of sheer white Noise for an ending. Set closer 16 Hours on Neptune has an kind of New Age feel as the Surak brings back the technique of layering what sounds like multiple sound sources into a sublime environment of shimmery sonic cotton candy. What a deliciously poetic way to walk out! 

Washington D.C resident Jeff Surak has spent a ton of time producing music and helping others produce theirs. All of this work shows up in really great ways within Eris I Dysnomia, surely. Fans of creatively constructed Noise/Musique Concrete/Industrial will surely love this recent offering from him. If you're one of these people, get on over to the Public Eyesore/eh? Records sight and float him some coin. 

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