Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Release of the Day: Sun City Girls - Torch of the Mystics

I saw Sir Richard Bishop at the Empty Bottle with Tashi Dorji and Ryley Walker a couple weeks back. I was familiar with his guitar work, but I didn't even know he and his brother were Sun City Girls with Charles Gocher until my friend Brett gave me a brief synopsis of his life and work in Sun City Girls. I asked him what kind of music Sun City Girls made and he said that it was hard to describe. He is correct.

I am still fairly unfamiliar with the band's oeuvre (and let's face the facts - it's pretty overwhelming to get into), but I've listened to their album Torch of the Mystics a lot by this point. I've contended for a while that there is no genesis in music, though there is synthesis. As far out as a sound may seem, it has not been cosmically tossed into someone's head - to put things simply, you only know what you know. But this album does sound alien. Part of that is simply that the synthesis within the SCG repertoire is an unhinged, ever-reaching hydra-head of curiosity, plucking influence and spawning two from there.

This album weaves together noise from the American Southwest with Middle Eastern and East Asian stylings, perhaps with some interest in more African drum patterns at times. I couldn't tell you exactly which instruments or ideas went into this album, but I can tell you that it is engrossing and for me it was a very novel, rewarding listening experience. Maybe you will like it too.

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