April 9, 2006

Review: Paik | Monster Of The Absolute

Paik -- Monster Of The AbsoluteThe rough-hewn space rock of Paik's Monster Of The Absolute is notably engaging. Even label Strange Attractors Audio House calls the set "the most accessible cinematic pummel of their [now nine year] career." While instrumental or primarily instrumental sets from acts like Bardo Pond or Kinski that work a similar groove can be a bit, well, maybe the word is "long," for us to firmly grasp, we were surprised to find ourselves at the climax of Paik's record over and over, and enjoying the distinctly analog ride each time. The Detroit-based trio's "Snake Face" forcefully marches an otherwise straight rock composition directly up a slow dynamic build into a squalling curtain of harmonic drone, where the whole mixture collapses and decays for its final 30 seconds. The entire album is sequenced in this same inevitable arc.

The more subdued "October" is pleasantly melodic and undulates across the top of a swirling fuzz bass figure. It recalls a couple of the early instrumentals on the Lilys bootleg collection Send In The Subs. Unsurprisingly, Monster Of The Absolute's centerpiece is its nearly-ten minute title track, a sandwich that begins with stacatto bass, stacked layers of guitar drone and orienting drumming. Monster will be in stores May 9. Strange Attractors has posted an MP3 of the track "Phantoms" here. You can see Paik do their thing live at the highly touted Terrastock 6 noise festival in Providence, Rhode Island April 21.

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