All Suss Müsik releases are available for purchase on Bandcamp and available for streaming on Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play. Suss Müsik material is self-released and distributed under the net label Lůno.
Suss Müsik released a number of mini-albums and EP’s since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our globe. The latest is an eight-track LP of short electro-acoustic compositions for handmade sound-making devices, fake strings, piano, percussion, barely detectable vocals, and (in one track) a penny-whistle. Listen and read the always entertaining liner notes.
Recorded in a series of improvisational weekend sessions in March 2022, a surprise four-track EP titled :: (pronounced “dotbox”). “Surprise” in the sense that these pieces seemed to hang together well as a single release; it wasn’t the intention, but Suss Müsik allows for happy accidents. Performed, in part, using handmade elecro-acoustic instrumentation and customized MIDI devices.
Ex Post Facto
Ex Post Facto is a 34-minute album of reworked and previously released material, some of it dating back nearly 20 (!) years, including new arrangements of Disquiet Junto projects. Compositions for strings, piano, woodwinds, percussion, a bit of synth, and (in one track) a table saw. Read the liner notes describing each track.
SixOverEight is an homage to life-as-prototype. Sequences of notes or chord progressions (the “eights”) were performed using customized or handmade instruments. The most workable bits were then developed into short offerings (the “sixes”) and recorded live. Instruments used include: prepared piano; piezo-amplified kalimba; homemade sawtooth synth; distressed fake marimba; open D-tuned Artiphon INSTRUMENT-1 (3D-printed frame) with custom voices; photo-sensitive synth played with a flashlight.
Co-Process Volume 2
Co-Process Volume 2 (not to be confused with Co-Process listed below) is another offering of glitchy, droney, ambient weirdness. The music is based on audio scans of B.G. Madden’s visual art, which was provided in the form of postcards delivered via US mail. The scans were then manipulated using all sorts of technical gadgets, from grain synthesizers to DIY electronic devices.
A number of listeners report that some of Suss Müsik’s output has a calming effect on them, a sort of vibroacoustic conditioning that elevates concentration, improves mental outlook, and reduces stress. Quiescent is a Bandcamp-only release offered for free to anyone who wants it. The running time is exactly 55-minutes. It can be used as background while you work, meditate, mourn, heal or rest — a mentally therapeutic diversion for those who need it.
Co-Process is a collection of live improvisations played on grain synthesizers, using audio scans of work by visual artist B.G. Madden. Madden had this to say about the album’s contents: “I keep returning to an imaginary experience of Richard Serra’s work at Tadeo Ando’s museum in Naoshima, Japan. When listening to these tracks, I am transported to an island in the Pacific where Naoshima is located. I hear the rhythm of the surf. I feel the breeze and am dazzled by the shifting light. This music, as complimentary data, adds time, color and movement—all key elements for the Serra/Ando experience.”
NON is a four-song album of electroacoustic pieces based on live improvisations conducted throughout the spring, summer and fall of 2018. Instrumentation includes piano, percussion, Moog synthesizers, electric guitar, primitive electronics, sampled wind instruments, hitting things, obfuscation. Much of the material was recorded live to 8-track in demo form and recomposed as a series of fields. It’s probably the best “sounding” recording Suss Müsik has released. Listen to NON on YouTube for free (seriously, we don’t care).
Misophonia is the second in a series called The Singles Project, each release consisting of two short works composed as a suite. For this offering, Suss Müsik sought to explore the spiritual significance of the pineal gland as a possible gateway through to communicate with non-human lifeforms. The two pieces are composed for marimba, slide guitar, processed vocals, fake orchestra (primarily violins and woodwinds) and birds outside Suss Müsik headquarters. Read more on the background behind this release.
Hiko is Suss Müsik’s first release under the Lůno label and first in a series called The Singles Project, each release consisting of two short works composed as a suite. For this offering, Suss Müsik sought to represent varying textures of glacial ice using sound: the viscous, wintry state of glaciers traveling at the speed of molasses, the thawing and breaking of glacial ice during summer. etc. Hiko I is composed for cello, violin, Moog synthesizer, ice cubes, flute, organ and piano. Hiko II is composed for violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, vocals, mellotron, piano, tuba, trombone, Moog synthesizer and ice cubes. Read more on the background behind this release.
Zygotes is Suss Müsik’s first “commercial” release in the sense that it is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, YouTube, and other distribution outlets. The album is six compositions for fake orchestras. You’ll hear strings, woodwinds, mallets, piano, percussion, brass and maybe even a flute or violin solo. Fans of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Mikel Rouse’s Broken Consort, Wim Mertens or Meredith Monk may enjoy this bit of symphonic minimalism. Read the liner notes describing each track.
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.
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.
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.”
A seven-song release by Egret Zero, something of a “concept album” based on themes regarding leadership and execution under pressure. Loosely based on the life of Ernest Shackleton, the album attracted this lovely review by Jake Collier of Spill Magazine (4 1/2 out of 5 splats): “Although their sound is hard to describe, it is very easy to listen to, a mix of soundscapes and experiments … Egret Zero have put on notice the experimental music scene with this release, and I cannot recommend it enough.”
I Want To Have Faith
“All of the Egret Zero releases to date have been interesting to me,” writes Glenn Kenixfan on his music blog A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed (great title), “but this one seems the most compelling so far. A neat blend of influences, with none getting too much obvious play, lets these two musicians create a fairly unique sound, which is atmospheric, spacious, and enveloping … those who prefer the instrumental half of [David Sylvian’s] Gone to Earth (1986) should find a lot to love here.”
Wait, For Now
The second Egret Zero release titled Wait, For Now refines concepts explored on the first EP. It takes the listener on a journey through quarantine life, hopefully with an outcome that rewards humanity’s patience with our own survival.
Egret Zero EP
May 1988, on a humid night in Baltimore, two friends meet in the back room of a mutual friend’s apartment. Thirty-one years later, a strange encounter with a spirit entity initiates a new sonic alchemy between the two. The result is a crepuscular project titled Egret Zero. The first release takes listeners through a series of mental landscapes ranging from the ethereal to the photorealistic: mirages on an alien desert, moments of clarity from some alternative past. For more than three decades, this music has been gestating within the minds and hearts of its creators, a constellation of ideas jostling for release. Now it’s yours.
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.”