Tzolk’in ‎– The Sixth Sun


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

While the interminable wait for a new Flint Glass album continues, there is a shining light which rises up out of this present darkness. The latest result of his clever pairing with Empusae. The latter did an album with Shinkiro that continues to rumble my subconscious like a band of marauding tectonic engineers on acid let out to play unsupervised. But while the menace of that collaboration bubbles in the background, we’re alone on a foreboding martian landscape replete with some of Ballard’s angst ridden scientists. Indeed, the very title of this record may be a reference to one particular story of men who left in search of wealth and were rewarded with something beyond their scope of comprehension.

Gwenn’s style of nuanced, faceted synthetics is on full display here. The warped atmospheres and near poisonous electrical discharge seeps out of the barrel, contaminating everything it touches. Nicholas by contrast, showers these tracks in rhythmic shrapnel. He refuses to let you linger or pause to catch your breath. The aggressive tendency of what I’m hearing on ‘The Sixth Sun’ can rightfully take it’s place alongside other masterpieces of ethno-ambient electronics steeped in darkly enigmatic tone such as ‘Akhet’ by Klinik or ‘Omnon’ from Polygon. This isn’t just cosmic composition which ebbs along in meaningless drones.

No, ‘The Sixth Sun’ is the breathing consciousness of the universe put on disc; the interchanges between dying stars and carnivorous black holes, high beam transmissions from an unknown point of origin. There is a tribal aspect on this record which makes it a unique creature with a mind all it’s own, but not tribal in a friendly or welcoming way. More of an incantation to whatever lies past the point of human discernment, an oath of fealty sworn in damnable allegiance to that which would destroy us. In a manner similar to his work on ‘Zoran’s Equation’, Flint Glass somehow channel the fantastical phantasms of malevolence you would find in an absinthe laced work of art into auditory form.

Tzolk’in have been around for a few years now, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard them this tightly interwoven. Almost to the point where the line between these two gentlemen blurs into an indecipherable no-man’s land of cursed progress and do-or-die DIY ethos. It isn’t every day an album such as this comes along, so don’t go into this expecting anything but the crackles of lightning issuing forth during a massive thunder storm. Much goes on which we cannot see in a situation like that and so it is on this release. Oh you can make out the stage and some of the minor players but the ones who direct the action, those who command these astounding forces will not ever reveal themselves. Perhaps it is for them that ‘The Sixth Sun’ has been loosed.

Can it only be seen during a particular alignment, are there those who know whence it came from… this is an impenetrable obelisk, a talisman left behind to possibly move us along or it might just be something sent to utterly erase this experiment we call man.

Let yourself be lulled by the calm moments between maelstroms if you like, pass it off as so much dark ambient noodling. There won’t be anyone to turn on the light when the shadows engulf you, there is no star to be a light when all others go out. So many others who dabble in this would do well to listen to this the next time “creativity” strikes them. The view from within this stellar cascade is fantastic! What’s that? Oh that’s just the world coming to an end with humanity crashing down all around but pay it no mind. Behold ‘The Sixth Sun’.

Tzolk’in ‎– The Sixth Sun
CD, 2013
Ant-Zen, ACT290

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