Paik – Corridors


Hailing from Detroit, Mich. is the relatively unknown but extremely talented shoegazer band known simply as Paik. Simply put, these guys are incredible in terms of both their songwriting and effective use of aesthetics (feeling and mood). Corridors is like opening a pathway to another dimension in which everything around you starts to spin at a rapid pace while you’re there staring at it mesmerized by its shear force of nature. I’ve also read and heard from others that the band’s live show is quite an experience, where they combine fast moving lights to take the listener on a memorable journey.
The band was formed in 1997 when guitarist Rob Smith met up with drum & bass duo Ryan Pritts and Ali Clegg at a local bar. All three musicians were unsatisfied with their current projects and wanted to do something a bit different. All three had different backgrounds musically but were able to come together under a common vision for creating powerful and mind-altering soundscapes. Corridors is the second full-length from the band in addition to a CD-single that was released back in 1999.
While listening to Corridors, it brings up images of flying through outer space at the speed of light or simply floating throughout the ocean on an endless journey. The album begins with an epic masterpiece called “Tinsel and Foil,” an intricate number that starts with clean guitar, bass, and precise drumming playing a simply motif repeatedly. The song slowly builds up until it explodes into some of the most beautiful and cascading noise heard to date in recent times. Bass and drums continue the main progression pounding it in while the heavily delayed guitar floats off to another place in space and time.
“Strange Familiar” comes in next with guitars that sound wavy and slightly detuned (but in a good way), and both guitars and bass build up to the point of distorted noise. The drumming is fantastic, always playing solid and clear but certainly not getting in the way of the main instrumentation. It’s amazing what these guys can do with shear noise, and while some may say they’re basing a lot of their sound on My Bloody Valentine, Paik certainly makes it all their own. “Spacer (2001)” as well as “Hollow Ki” follow closely in the steps of the first two tracks but this time by slowing it down a bit. “Spanning Time” and “Stellazine” rely heavily on continued repetition and erupt into a beautiful amount of noise.
The last track on the album is titled “The Longest Day” and has an incredible digitally delayed guitar part in the beginning of the song. The riff feels and sounds so good to listen to and is very depressing sounding, but I assure you is indeed a good thing. The end of the song erupts into noise but it is still a very epic and melodically constructed noise. It is the fitting end to what was already a terrific album.
If you’re looking for something new, something different from what you’ve been listening to, or are simply looking to escape the confines of a mundane life for a short period of time, Paik’s Corridors is for you.