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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lymbyc Prairie Cortex

posted by on August 21 at 14:08 PM

brain.jpgThe limbic system wraps around the brain stem and lies beneath the cerebral cortex. It is a center for the formulation of emotion, learning, and for memory.

Lymbyc Systym is a two-piece band from Tempe, Arizona that played at Sunset Tavern last night. They are Jared and Michael Bell, and they play keys and drums. They split the stage and brain as left and right. The cortex is wrapped. Emotion is formulated.

To classify Lymbyc, itís post-rock or indie-rock. Itís instrumental. Some say folktronica. Their sounds derive from Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, and Four Tet. Their current release, Love Your Abuser, is out on LA based Mush Records. Theyíve toured with Album Leaf and recently got back from a swing through Japan.

Picture: .res

Jaredís three-tiered stack of Rhodes and Korg keys are delayed and distorted, guitar-like at times. He soars his harmonies and patterns over to his brotherís half, where they are deciphered with sticks and brushes and rusty shaken bells. Melodies meet beats and converge. They fold over, tuck under, and sometimes batter like rams.


Michaelís Gretsch drum-kit is tight and booming. Over the hi-hat to his left he employs a Mac and a glockenspiel. Some of his drumming is a dervish, carving and thrashed. Then he drops into the soup stir jazz technique with brushes and calms.

The programming of Lymbycís beats and sounds exposes the electronics just right. Nothing too glitchy or forced. Telefon Tel Aviv would be proud. Organic, man. Subliminal. Michaelís playing and the Mac were seamless. He sits high on the throne and ranges with dynamics and division. He takes boomerang cutlery to the open plain and chops the circular prairie air home. Cuts it he does. Your cortex registers what it sees, but the sounds are the only thing that make sense.

For a couple of songs during Lymbyc Systymís set, the trumpet player from One AM Radio played with them, doubling the keyboard lines. The trumpet matched the notes and lined the distortion with a layer of brass scaffolding. It was unexpected and great.

Lymbyc Systym are touring with the One AM Radio & Montag. They are going down the west coast, then head east.

Look for their faces and the cortex of their flying cutlery.

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My last boss at ye ole biotech biz once gave a lecture on the limbic system. He's pretty fascinated by it and broke it down to chemical processes and how it relates to Francis Crick's studies on consciousness. The boss actually was quite famous in some sci-fi circles, assisting on the first heart transplant in the world (in South Africa) and relating a story about being at Crick's house and when the Brit squeezed said Boss's wife's butt. Weird people in the eschelons of DNA tweaking.

Posted by Garrett | August 21, 2007 2:53 PM

Cool review, Trent. Boomerang cutlery --that is rich.

Posted by KNASY | August 21, 2007 3:32 PM

Trent, have you read "This is Your Brain on Music"? you'd love it. It was written by a record producer/neurologist. It was featured at Elliott Bay Book Store not long ago. Also a book called "Making Waves", about the wave energy theory...that sound/heat/ultraviolet waves guide humanity through their evolution. I did not get to see the band, but I am syked that you've written about the unknown powers of sound waves with regard to the human brain.

Posted by gabe | August 21, 2007 5:47 PM

The physiological effects of sound waves on the human brain, much less human behavior, I belaive are little understood by mankind at this juncture. Music is a force beyond human understanding!

Go Trent!!!!

Posted by gabe | August 21, 2007 5:51 PM

Limbic education always appreciated. Greatly entertaining review. Thanks for infusing my brain with new waves and challenges. Tante

Posted by Tante | August 21, 2007 6:18 PM

Trent does have his way with words. Lymbyc Systym are one of those bands where I can't wait to hear what they are doing in 5 years. Good stuff now and I can't wait till they have couple more records under their belt.

Posted by D | August 21, 2007 8:50 PM

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