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Eclipsa is a 50-minute piece that operates as both distraction and sedation. Instruments are buried under a thin veil of amplifier noise, creating a restful calm despite the unrelenting dissonance. The piece is titled after the word meaning “obfuscate” in the Catalan language of eastern Spain. Read more on the background behind this release.
Kommunal is variously ugly, dissonant, beautiful and sparse, advancing the palette to include found sound and offer greater compositional depth. Guitars are played by dropping pebbles on strings. Carpentry tools like table and hand saws become part of the musical language. An organ’s timbre range is pushed to maximum capacity, while a muted saxophone struggles to be heard. Within all that is the most “musical” thing Suss Müsik has ever released: a simple piano motif that builds into a sort of jazz-pop number, with gently brushed drums in standard 4/4 time. This is ambient music that is decidedly unrestful. Stephen J. Gladney and Marc Manning make contributions.
Paraphasia is named after a neurological speech disturbance, caused by brain damage, in which words are jumbled and sentences are rendered as meaningless. The pieces in this offering by Suss Müsik concentrate on fragments: the audio detritus created from malfunctioning systems, moments lost in idle activity, shards of regret manifested as tone. This is music for ticking off random days until something happens; meanwhile, life moves forward through the particle haze of decisions never made.
Esmovoir is named after the French word meaning “to cause action due to emotion.” Each of the four pieces is inspired by recent trials of friends and acquaintances close to participants of the creators. Less of a catharsis than a smoldering endurance, with tensions bubbling just under the surface until the music reaches its melodic apex. The relief is short-lived, though, as the dissonance makes its presence known and returns the listener to a state of greater instability. Stephen J. Gladney contributes saxophone and Sara Toga contributes percussion.
Quorum is a compilation spanning the best of Suss Müsik’s early output. “The intention is clear,” wrote Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet. “The ‘post-classical’ aspect is the presence of static violins and receding timpani. The ‘ambient minimalism’ is the overall sense of hovering waveforms in favor over active, self-evident melodic or thematic development. The ‘crepuscular’ is the way such a still piece can bring to mind moments in the day, such as that of twilight, when things seem to pause on a psychic, emotional, and sensory fulcrum point, with an underlying and intense momentum toward what might come next. And then, of course, the ‘airports’ is a nod to Brian Eno’s foundational work, where he likewise likened the travel portal to a unique mental juncture.”
Suss Müsik and Marc Manning
Suss Müsik collaborated with Dragon’s Eye Recordings artist Marc Manning to produce this four-track offering. “A flowing amalgam of overlaid guitar patterning: strumming electric beneath louche waveforms amid spaced-out echoes,” wrote Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet. “It’s like the midpoint music from a Michael Mann film, a moment of reflective calm before all hell breaks loose. The track [Melting Square], which teams Suss Müsik with musician Marc Manning, itself gets calmer as it proceeds, the strumming eventually fading out entirely in favor of the voluminous echo, that echo then fracturing into a quietly intense, psychedelic field of ghostly twinkling.”