Music Reviews

Artist: Xykogen (@)
Title: Musica Universalis
Format: CD
Label: Mrs Vee
Rated: *****
It’s quite easy to infer this spooky London based industrial collective of "art-scapists" deals with occultist themes just from the fact the names of their members have not be taken from the ones by Teletubbies! Xykogen, cryptic term coined by the band founder Amon Zero meaning "any process influencing mind" according to this bizarre neologist, can count among its members the above mentioned Amon – former vocalist of the cyberpunk UK band Arkam Asylum – and a bunch of sound experi/mentalists and sorcerers such as Max Rael – founder and member of History of Guns -, the drummer Mog Warbeast – playing a key role in the line-up in my modest opinion... -, Lee Chaos – running the notorious Judder club - and The Reverend Eris – both of them being the entities behind the mechanical curtains of The Chaos Engine and Wasp Factory Recordings – as well as occasional collaborators.

Their manifest occultist references (I could do nothing but indulgently smile when noticing some details such as the reprise of the notorious Latin palindrome "In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni" in order to begin and end the tracklist full of double-titled pieces or the references to the Pythagorean philosophical concept of Musica Universalis someone tried to "ensound" recurring to mathematical algorithms based on abstruse musical "translitterations" of some geometrical series reflecting the so-called music of the spheres) doesn’t mask shoddy compositions and it’s evident when you’ll listen to this release, a 1-hour-and-1-second long live-recording of a Xykogen’s show at The Foundry in London, one of the sacred temple for the avant-garde acts, including some interesting examples of experimentation which are not to be considered just as aseptic sound tests and/or effortless jiggling manipulations, beginning with the introductory In Girum Imus Nocte, an heavy start to set up your pavilions with a raw flux(us) of razor-cut noises and guitar walls, an heavy drumming session and some atmospheric creepy shouts by Amon, obsessively repeating "we’re invisible" and so pulling the listener into the climax of that exhibition, before the suffocating knots tightening throughout 8bit pulses, intricate layering, mungo drumming sets, reversed sound cascading – among which the classical Casio tone for the laser beam... ! - and ill-ogical rhythmical pattern of the title track subtitled Ineffable, Empty which is going to delight most extreme and obscure experimental music’s lovers, projecting them into the ritualistic setting the folks attending that meeting at The Foundry on February 25th 2009!

The following track, Pissing Contest/Kshatriya referring to the warrior class according to the Hindu social orders, is a blasting one that will rape your eardrums through a Throbbig Gristle-style thunderous effected guitars perfectly fading into the following Citizen’s Arrest/Fury With The Face Heaven (featuring another Casio tone... the typing machine!), an aggressive electro-punk episode deeply influenced by 80s punk and French electro-metal wisely placed before the psychedelic dark-ambient suite Ki/Qiyamat – another reference to mystical terminology-, whose drones broken by powerful and unexpected thunders are impressively suggestive reminding some similar workouts by Origami Galaktika . There’s nothing really musical in the vocal obscure bunch of interviews and personal stories by survivors from the holocaust, you could hear in a disorientating jungle of whispering sounds, metallic brushings and hypnotic bells in the provocative Work Will Make You Free/We Rip This Symbol From The Void, sloping into a bewildering nebula of laser blasts introducing the martial stepping built on over-filled organ disorientating phrases in the thrilling Seidhr/TO REND THE VEIL OF PAROKETH. The following track Brand X seems to be an attempt of redefining a brand new form of punk even if the artistic liaision to the French anarcho-punk scene is clear... pay attention to details to be conscious of what I’m referring to! The final track, Behold, The Silver Star, hallows Xykogen’s Dadaist (or lettreist as well!) and de-structionist attitude in treating sound, consecrating themselves as some of the best learners of P-Orridge lecturers! Something that could let your nerves scream out for its terrific hallucinatory gripping!!! Last but not least (or if you prefer Latin, dulcis in fundo)– another esoteric imprint? -: it’s thee (double E’s not a spelling mistake... ) release number 23 licensed by Mrs Vee.

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