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Reviews

Gyratory System
New Harmony Cay McDermott , April 28th, 2011 15:13

If David Cronenberg had managed to create his own BBC Radiophonic Workshop to score his films, their music might have sounded something like Gyratory System. An underlying sense of unease simmers underneath their music, from the portamento heavy lead lines, to the atonal brass section which sound like a downsampled 8tth generation photocopy of a marching band. This is a group who march to the tune of their own beat – albeit one which has been meticulously programmed in Ableton first.

New Harmony – their second album (named after a 19th century American socialist commune) – is a remarkable beast indeed, retaining all of those degraded beeps, kazoo squeaks and clangs that make Gyratory System such a unique listen. It's as though they gathered up a bunch of records from artists such as Orbital and Aphex Twin, as well as the likes of Fela Kuti, played them to breaking point, and put the degraded remnants through a Commodore 64.

Each track glides and bounces off your eardrums, in a happy harmony of fizzing and chattering. 'Un-Sound' is what Belbury Poly would sound like if they did Henry Mancini's 'Peter Gunn Theme', 'I Must Create A System' is filled with lush auditory landscapes and pitted with odd little noises, as though an infestation of crickets found its way into the recording studio, whilst lead track, 'Lost On The Kings Road' paints a mournful landscape in which one lone clarinet hoots and squeaks through a pea souper of a bassline. At times, the systematic repetition of New Harmony becomes almost too much to handle, and you have to put your headphones down and step away for fear of becoming desensitised to what is being thrown at you. If anything, this is an album that should be savoured in pieces, as if a collection of little jewels, so that you can fully appreciate all of what Gyratory System are trying to do.

One review I read asked who this music is made for, as though they were incredulous that anyone would willingly sit down and listen to 45 minutes of inharmonious electronic arrangements. Yet, why shouldn't a band make music for themselves? Especially when it sounds like nothing else you'll hear this year (or possibly any other year in fact). Stick with Gyratory System, and you'll soon discover that there's a method to their madness.

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