Surface of Eceon – Crickets and Fireflies

Surface of Eceon
Crickets and Fireflies

This split recording is hard to define, as it is four songs but they total over 70 minutes of music. These three bands fit very well with each other, as all of them are known for utilizing space and feedback in their musical styles. Kinski contribute one tune that’s well over 20 minutes, while Paik contribute two, and Surface of Eceon end it all with one 30-minute tune. The bands differ slightly from their normal sounds here, but all the works flow smoothly into and out of one another.
Kinski’s track “Keep Clear of Me I’m Maneuvering with Difficulty” covers much ground in music and noise. It starts off with some mystical sounding guitar and slight, soft drumming that gives way to feedback and other electronic embellishments. No matter how slight the sounds are, the constant synth and feedback keep your ears and mind at attention as it picks up some repetitive organ and other atmospheric noises. Just as you start to get relaxed and used to the calm, the band comes at you with blasts of feedback from Chris Martin and Matthew Reid Schwartz’s amps and powerfully strong drumming. Martin and Schwartz wreak some glorious havoc, spurting out noise and hums that perfectly capture the energy in this musical concoction. The wide array of sounds and musical noises here are very intriguing, and the varying pitches and tones the members get out of their instruments is mind-boggling. The electronics add a nice element to the experimentalism at the fore of this composition. This 20-plus-minute piece goes by way too fast, leaving the listener wanting more.
Paik contributes the next two tracks, and they are the more grounded pieces here, or at least as grounded as this disc gets. “Spanish Holiday” is a swirling, airy piece that has a darker and fuller sound with storming drums and waves of distorted yet melodic guitar. It rarely strays from this droning formula until the bass driven middle section. The piece ends with pillows of feedback and pulsating bass. “Eva” is the more atmospheric of Paik’s offerings with very pretty synths and quietly rolling drums. The song kind of has a sleepy yet beautiful sound to it and is reminiscent of the beauty and joy one gets from watching a sunrise.
Surface of Eceon enter the fray with a calmer and more peaceful musical collage. The piece starts off with some airy synth melodies with other keyboards twinkling underneath. Eventually the peaceful mood changes as feedback shards pierce the fluffy concoction. As the piece approaches its mid-point, there is a little more added with cymbal crashes and pulsating bass. The guitar tones get a little more noticeable, yet the piece retains the quaint dream-like stance it always contained. As it nears the end, the piece picks up quite a bit of steam with manic drum crashes and piercing hums of feedback-drenched soundscapes. SoE’s piece comes the closest to new-age here, but it still has a lot of interesting aspects and is a pleasant listening experience.
There is quite a bit going on in this lengthy recording by three bands that clearly show their own identity and styles. There is a lot in common between the three groups, but they all stand out from each other. Kinski’s piece may be the most experimental in the bunch as the song frequently reinvents itself time and time again to the listener’s enjoyment. Paik contribute enjoyable pieces but don’t do much to stand out on this disc that has much more creative pieces attached. SoE’s track floats by like a puffy cloud in the bright sky, yet there is quite a bit happening here that will be missed if attention is not given. It may not be the best disc to listen to if you aren’t in the position to give if your fullest attention, which it really deserves. There is one thing it is though, and that is a masterful album that flows smoothly from one track to another. I commend each band here for putting out such great performances.