Monday, November 12, 2012

R. SEILIOG Shuffles

I first came across R. Seiliog as the drummer in H. Hawkline but solo slots supporting his band at Green Man Festival and in Manchester, showed his own music taking a different direction. Rather than the raucous acid-garage-rock of H. Hawkline live, R. Seiliog favours experimental minimalist compositions, swapping the drummer’s stool for the boffin’s analogue laboratory. So this five track EP (10" vinyl and digital download via Peski Records) updates Cluster and other Seventies Kraut technicians with a series of rippling metronomic instrumentals.

Whereas the friendly, glassy clockwork whirrings and found sounds of ‘Ty80 Legmelt’ are closest to the shuffles of the EP title, other tracks have an edge and more precise movement. The celestial trills and motorik beat of ‘Sturdy Seams’ is not unlike a more experimental off-cut of early Stereolab. In ‘To Be A Sgerbwd’ Geiger counter crackle and frantic oscillations give way to pleasing Neu! komische chimes which indeed suggest the - fragile dancing - skeleton of the title. ‘Gee Geffyl Sbaeneg’ opens with twanging guitar reverb that frays into a mysterious shimmer and ‘Crawl Back Butterfly’ moves from gently overlapping micro-loops and pulses to foreground one impatiently loud and intense loop for its second half. As well as German groups, I’m also reminded of Chicago post-rockers Tortoise, particularly the sparser, quieter moments of “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”.

R. Seiliog cites avant-garde pioneers Terry Riley and La Monte Young as inspiration and it could be easy to locate this EP as simply cryptically titled cerebral exercises and tributes. But its subtle mutations and circular patterns - much-like the illustrated cover by Sion Alun – coalesce into something original, multi-dimensional and charmingly compelling.

R. Seiliog Shuffles [BUY]

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