Kyron - "Perdurabo"
(Black Note Music 2010, BNM 058)

From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)

Supposedly inspired by the "magickal strength" of Aleister Crowley, the 12 pieces on Perdurabo nevertheless have little to do with occultism but have much in common with the early work of Aphex Twin (though without Richard D. James' bizarre streak) and at times are reminiscent of Conrad Schnitzler's more playful experiments in electrostatic minimalism. Kyron is San Francisco sound creator J.C. Mendizabal, and there's a charming simplicity of musical diction on Perdurabo that's inexplicably appealing, as if one were listening to a child prodigy play his toy instruments for an audience of stuffed animals and wind-up mechanical dolls. As such, it's addicting in the same way as your favorite sugary confection: it pops, fizzes, and melts across your speakers as good ear candy should. Most of the songs have a light, airy melodicism, and Mendizabal is content to use only a minimum of sound creation devices: a few synths, some bent circuits and samples, as well as occasional clockwork percussion. The obvious lack of attention to conventional elements of song structure (variation in key, tempo and rhythm) evince a willful primitivism that is particularly effective on tracks like "Suscipio," "Silva" and "Peregrinus" where sound itself becomes its own raison d'Ítre. The music thus becomes the space the listener currently inhabits and consequently acts as a kind of hypnotic trigger for suggesting various possible aural environments. More experimental pieces like "Viator" and "Ferrum" require more attentive hearing and can be a bit more demanding on the casual listener. Angular in structure and disjointed in harmonic content, these pieces exist on the periphery of electronic where ambient sound design meets the collage technique of serious avant-garde composition. Perdurabo is unquestionably diversionary music, and as such is both conceptual and contemplative. Fans of Aphex Twin's Ambient Works series will find much to enjoy here.

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Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree

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