Pyramids of Space – Pyramids of Space

pyramids

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

The nuts and bolts of the operation before they’ve been utilized; a free form exercise in beats and beauty. Somehow, some way, this collection of 22 tracks has been rescued from the dusty vaults of obscurity for our listening pleasure. Although what level of enjoyment you get out of this offering depends on where you were in the early to mid 1990s. A tumultuous era, one comprised of upheavals and unwise pairings in the musical world. For every solid assortment of synthetic experimentation there were still born dance anthems spit out on the floors the world over which give their creators nightmares to this day. Here you will find no such mistakes, even though a lot of this is crude in design and somewhat limited due to the technology of the era there is a burning desire to defrock what trends were running rampant in those days.

Simple rhythms merge roughly into the programming language of the pyramids; there’s some serious violence being done to the samples which are coaxed out of their banks. No order of composition is apparent outside of what number each track is assigned, that is to say that there isn’t a focal point or creative apex being aimed at. Rather, the author (s) of this auditory tempest opted to assault every possible expectation their audience could have. Here’s the funniest part about that audience: there wasn’t one. Outside of the label and those responsible, no one has heard this since it was conceived between 1992 and 1996; in effect, we’ve been granted access to the tomb after all this time has passed and given these tapes to process. Some mysterious and shadowy operatives would have us draw our own conclusions in this musty, forlorn chamber. Best get to it, I suppose.

You couldn’t make these now, and that’s not just some blind assumption. There is literally no way anyone’s mind could come up with what’s on here; the range and dynamic tricks employed are no longer accessible given what the world is now. Everything must have an influence, everyone’s ego rests on what obscure niche they can exploit to show off their own cleverness. But not with material like this, oh no, chuck those dancing shoes out the window. Put away the strobes, ‘Pyramids of Space’ traverses vast musical territory. Running from gruff expositions of sequencing to near jazz fusion guitar sampling thrown over deranged progressions which probably were familiar at some point… not anymore, my friends. Trying to identify what some of this was is like piecing together an autopsy based on DNA swabs and a prayer.

“We will have your attention”, this album seems to say, “and if you don’t give it to us we will take it by force”. These are rough, cantankerous and sly portraits wrung out of digital compositing in it’s infancy. Of course, speaking of musical development, I could point out who’s this was chronicling but why spoil the surprise. When you put it in that context, these pyramids become far more recognizable, though their origins and execution remain entirely alien. The construction site after dark is not as empty as they’d have you believe, what is lost has a way of being discovered again in spite of itself; in this case we’ve just stumbled upon the blueprints and must now decipher their contents. Gonna be a long night.

Pyramids of Space – Pyramids of Space
Mordant Music, MM073
MC/Digital 2014

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