Melodien – Theurgy

Melodien - Theurgy

Melodien – Theurgy

Like many likeminded Deep Distance signings, Liverpool’s Harry Sumnall is well-acquainted with the motorik manual.  Yet whereas some of his labelmates have fixated on certain chapters, Sumnall – under his Melodien alias – appears to have sped-read the whole lot as well as adding a few appendixes based on broader listening and his own experiences with Lazily Spun, Zukanican, Damo Suzuki, Pop Levi and earlier solo enterprise Melodie du Kronk.  2014’s Participation Mystique debut LP as Melodien summarised Sumnall’s cross-fusions with both fastidiousness and freewheeling flair, which this sequel set picks up from and takes even further.

Once again the product of Sumnall’s home studio – which used to be a village mortuary no less – with his ambidextrous self-deployment of analogue synths, guitar, bass, electronics and assorted acoustic instrumentation, Theurgy rampantly unfurls like a ‘whose-sound-is-that?’ phantasmagoria.

Hence, “Helicon” filters Steve Reich repetitions through sleek interlocking Neu!-like layers; “F.O.S.” pays tribute to Tangerine Dream via the elegiac prism of Modular Living-era Eat Lights Become Lights; “Der Duftende Garten des Scheik Nefzaui” revisits the Harmonia homage-making prevalent across Participation Mystique; “Jaromil” glides along like a tribalistic space-funk Can; “Narkotic” floats in a heady miasma of Cluster’s ethereality and High Wolf’s ambient voodoo; “Serpent” shape-shifts between dub-reggae grooves and trippy middle-eastern mysticism; and “Food” re-approaches Amon Düül II’s shamanistic psych-rock from an electronically-entranced lateral direction.

Collectively, the ten instrumental pieces of Theurgy make for a delightfully dizzying and enthralling showcase of the Melodien modus operandi.  Whilst there are plenty of familiar pieces in its aural mosaics the brilliantly bespoke blends of shapes and colours make for a highly durable and distinctive sonic collage.

Deep Distance