Posts Tagged ‘Editin Mego’

Ideologic Organ -  SOMA037 – 17th April 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

The blurbage which accompanies this release was prefaced by a line from Eyvind Kang, stating, ‘The digital release idea has been a kind of lifeline, a way of thinking of music and sound as survivance and meditation’.

We are indeed fortunate: if we think isolation in the age of the global village is difficult, imagine life during previous plague pandemics. One may argue that without the blizzard of (dis)information being disseminated, we’d be in a much better place, but however much we may miss our friends and relatives, things are undoubtedly easier for many – although certainly not everyone – in the Internet age.

Writing from his Berlin sublet, where he says he is ‘here for the duration it seems’ Stephen O’Malley says ‘We are all in these similar boats, together.’ And there is some comfort in all of this. For a time, I’d been concerned that continuing with music reviews in the face of everything was somehow an act which diminished, undermined the gravity of the situation. People are dying, people are alone, unable to leave the house. And here I am spouting opinions about music?

Of course, we need all arts, in particular music, now more than ever, to fill the gaps. And the artists need to keep making music, and not just for financial reasons: artists have a tendency to respond to situations by making art, and my writing about it is part of the dissemination process. And so, after a couple of wilderness weeks where the very act of sitting in front of a screen and keyboard felt like the very definition of futility, I came to see it more of a duty.

The latest material from PHURPA, Hymns of Gyer is one of four new titles on Ideologic Organ.

It’s a low, wheezing, groaning sound that drones and echoes the introduction to Hymns of Gyer. Sounding somewhere between a digeridoo and a zen om chant from deep within a cave, it’s both ominous and meditative.

Enigmatic Russian collective, PHURPA, centred around Alexey Tegin have steadily been building a catalogue of spiritually-focused and other-worldly sounding recordings centred around Bön, Tibet’s oldest spiritual tradition. Hymns of Gyer features four mesmeric vocal drones, and if Sunn O))) did throat singing, it would sound like this.

The slow undulations and the multiple voices, each droning pitch resonating against the others in an endless succession of swells and ebbs, sometimes booming and billowing.

There is no discernible structure or form, but the purpose of these performances is about a different kind of focus: an inner focus, one which achieves a transcendental oneness. ‘0.1 [3]’ and ‘01.3’ yawn and drone on for over a quarter of an hour apiece, with the latter in particular building a dense, low-end breathy intensity, elevating and ululating expansively with an effect that resonates around the lungs. This is incredibly physical music, body music in the most literal sense. It’s impossible to dissect either the sound of its effect. All you can know is that it IS. It rumbles around every inch of your being. It doesn’t speak to or of anything. It just echoes and envelops, and immerses.

Listening with no real expectation, I found my breathing slowed, my pulse slowed. Maybe this was what I needed. Maybe this what we all need. It’s impossible to be prescriptive right now, but the drowning sprawl of Hymns of Gyer very much does offer an oasis of meditative calm.

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