Review of The Visitors
Review of Luminous Darkness


The Visitors

Cyclobe's Stephaen Thrower and Simon Norris have worked with Coil and Death In June in the past, and this release marks their second full-length musickal project together as Cyclobe. All instrumental, clocking in at 55 minutes or so, this 7-track disc manages to not get bogged down in direction or sound. Repetitive, yet engaging, it also manages to confront you with a sound so otherworldly and experimental, that you may not have heard anything even remotely similar to it before now. After Stephen Thrower left Coil for his own musickal endeavors, I felt that Coil lost a certain sort of urgency and oppressive darkness within their musick, and with this release I now realize that Stephen Thrower was perhaps the one largely responsible for it. Many readers of this magazine are familiar with the term 'Chaos Magick", well, this could be the soundtrack to such a thing, call it Chaos Musick if you want. Swirling, ever-changing, streams of audio-consciousness that will paint your soul dark and leave your ears begging for more. This release seems more extraterrestrial in nature than their previous effort, "Luminous Darkness", reverberating with sounds that seem like they could have come from within the guts of something H.P. Lovecraft once wrote about, visiting our plane from some other horrible dimension. There's also a new strain not heard before in their musick provided by collaborator Ossian Brown, and that is the faintly distinct sound of the middle-East, sounding at times like Avant-Garde Arabic musick from some other planet. Extremely psychedelic (more akin to substances like DMT, LSD, and Mescaline and their effects, than the 60's derived genre of rock and roll music) and guaranteed to transport you to a realm of your own imaginative making. Perfect soundtrack musick for Kabbalistic path workings, Enochian Aethyr journeys, machine elf experiences, black mirror scrying, the plays of Kafka, the mad genius Interzone scribbling of William S. Burroughs, the visions of Blake, Stitching, A.O. Spare, Phillip K. Dick, and countless other esoteric/fringe authors/artists. A must listen for anyone seeking experimental, electronically-based, esoteric musick that will challenge and arouse your senses.

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Luminous Darkness

Review by Felipe Iragorri

Cyclobe makes music that summons images of walking down a dark Lovecraftian alley, finding you’re drawn there by strange, half-heard sounds. Then you find that you’re getting closer, drawn by a strange impulse, a child like curiosity, but actually you never really get there, finding that those precious first impressions begin to fade. At least that’s what I got when I first heard it. Cyclobe is Stephen Thrower and Simon Norris. Stephen was with Coil up until the release, "Loves Secret Domain", and Simon was with Death in June, having played on some of they’re best records like …"But What Ends When Symbols Shatter?"

It doesn’t sound that much like DIJ, or even like a mixture of the two, like you might think. Rather, they find they’re own space that (for me at least) creates a kind of cinematic atmosphere, kind of like walking in a movie, or at least a Lynch/Tarcovsky movie! Incidentally two of the pieces on "Luminous Darkness" were commissioned as theater projects (see their website) so maybe I’m not far off the mark. As they put it: ”trying to achieve higher awareness…..with sound as pathfinders. Using intuition, emotion and the power of the senses….” Tracks like "Each And Every Word Must Die", "The Blue And The Green" and "Thinking Feeling" are especially evocative of this sacred space I’m talking about, a peculiar tinge of sensation and emotion that unfortunately is lacking in much of the whole “electronic-ambient-whatever” scene that’s popular these days. There is a big difference between just making weird sounds with a synth and crafting and blending those sounds into a potent sonic brew like Cyclobe has. I recommend it to anybody interested in music without boundaries.

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