09 July 2015

Arrington de Dionyso - "Sound is the Medicine"

Olympia's Arrington de Dionyso is a favorite of Riot In My Brain. Whether he's working in noisy trance-punk, throatsinging improv, or bass-clarinet free jazz, he's generally one of the most fearless and most interesting musicians around right now. And the nice thing, for fans, is that he is pretty damn prolific. Whether it's brand new music or re-releasing old favorites, there's always seems to be something for us to chew on. His latest release is Sound is the Medicine, which features two 30+ minute improv tracks recorded directly to magnetic tape. The first track, "Lalove Circular Breathing", features the Lalove instrument, which is a Indonesian bamboo-flute with a really interesting sound (unfortunately I can't look it up, because whenever I google it, all I get is videos of "L.A. Love" by Fergie). While the improv does go for a bit too long, it's still an entrancing piece from Dionyso that I can't say ever feels boring. The sound of the Lalove is always changing, and the speed, timbre, and tune of each note seems to constantly change throughout the track. The second piece on here is "Khomuz Medicine", which features some of Arrington's vocals and several differnt Khomuz, or a Siberian Jewish harp. All of the sounds of this track are really fascinating, especially considering they're all from an acoustic instrument or Arrington himself. The sounds feel very synthetic in rhythm, especially in the beginning. It feels like something being filtered through a modular synth, much less something being played with absolutely no digital processing at all (keep in mind that these pieces of improv where done straight to tape). And that's what I really like about this track in particular, it just has some incredibly unique and fascinating sounds on it, and I really love listening to it. All in all, Sound is the Medicine is a pretty solid release from Dionyso, all though it's definitely not going to be easy to sit through for some. If you're a fan of his more minimal improv pieces and like avant-garde music, I'd recommend giving this record a listen.

Also, for fun, here's the best video on the planet.

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