by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 1:54 PM
I love that a label like Thrill Jockey—21 years old and going as strong as ever—is still backing decidedly uncommercial acts like Stygian Stride (Jimy SeiTang, ex-Psychic Ills, member of the excellent drone-rock combo Rhyton and associate of No-Neck Blues Band). It gives one hope that even in our current dismal economic climate and with a generation of people that expects to obtain all music for free forever, there’s still an audience for challenging music, if an entity like Thrill Jockey can keep pumping out multiple gems per month—as if this were the ’90s or something.
As for the video below, Stygian Stride’s “Drift” whorls and grinds ominously, urged on by submerged cantering beats. It sounds a bit like Suicide’s “Girl” playing at 16 rpm. Directors looking for some uncorny, uneasy soundtrackage should seriously consider this piece. It’s the dark heart of Stygian Stride’s kosmischeself-titled album, which comes out today. The press release drops comparisons to Gas, Manuel Göttsching, and Tangerine Dream, and whoever wrote that is on the money. I might also add Igor Wakhevitch (check out “Athenor Ascension”) and Cluster (see “Taiga”). Stygian Stride alternates between spaciousness and claustrophobia with exquisite attention to texture and atmosphere. It's one of the finest full-lengths of 2013's first quarter.