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Cyclopean – Cyclopean EP


Cyclopean EPBringing together musicians who have worked together separately before – Burnt Friedman and Jaki Liebezeit have released several outstanding records of electronic dub together, among numerous other guest spots and collaborations; Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore made two albums as Schmidt & Kumo; and of course Schmidt and Liebezeit were Can members together, as well as collaborators since the band’s demise. Add in Podmore’s sterling work on editing The Lost Tapes, and it’s really no surprise that this début Cyclopean EP appears (via Mute) on the Spoon imprint either.

So much for the background. The self-titled 12″ may only contain four tracks, but they’re each marvels of intricate percussion and enveloping electronica, deep baths of bass humming and heaving majestically at the rhythmic end while swarms and swirls of treated sounds slither and scurry. The occasional whimsical creakiness which gives both Can and Friedman’s own work that certain sparkle is occasionally present with Cyclopean, as is the spaciousness; and as ever, Liebezeit proves once again that he is one of the select drummers who could quite easily be listened to for hours at a time without tiring of the subtleties he brings.

This is music to drop into, to let go, to wade in deep and float to the surface, Dead Sea style, and soak up the details: chattering interjections and hauntological voices from the machine leading to emergent piano on “Knuckles”; glacial keyboards infusing “Fingers” with an uplifted sense of time held in abeyance, rising and shifting like psychic breezes; the metallic percussion of “Weeks” bringing the funk to town with evocative piano in accompaniment; and always the heartswelling, languorous  bass, and the never-ceasing clack of sticks on drums bouncing at 120 ideas per minute as the evolving rhythms come around and round again.

-Linus Tossio-

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