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Hear Stygian Stride’s Rumbling Synth Opus ‘Drift’

Rhyton's Jimy SeiTang goes kosmische on his solo debut for Thrill Jockey

picture-18685-1372868658Philip Sherburne // March 11, 2013

As a member of Rhyton, Jimy SeiTang explores the space between improv, psychedelic rock, and Middle Eastern music. In his solo project Stygian Stride, however, he trades that molten energy — bubbling, glowing, all-consuming — for a different kind of elemental sound. His self-titled debut album, out next week on Thrill Jockey, moves with the slow, majestic pace of glaciers, as massive walls of layered synths are propelled by churning arpeggios; in “Hindsight,” the faint sound of dripping water reaffirms the sense that you’ve been dropped smack in the middle of a snowy wilderness.

German synthesizer wizards like Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese are obvious antecedents, but there’s a low-key, home-built sensibility to Stygian Stride’s music that links it to the American noise underground. That’s especially true of “Drift,” a buzzing drone that suggests Suicide jamming with LaMonte Young’s Theater Eternal Music — in a meat locker, presumably, given the whiff of freezer burn that hangs over it all.