Sleepingbagstudios - Album Review: Scenes Through the Magic Eye
Rasplyn – Scenes Through The Magic Eye – Album Review
"Ahhh…how cool my life can be at times!
Starting a day by listening to Rasplyn’s debut experimental album is a real treat for the ear. There’s so many incredible new ideas and soundscapes here; it might still qualify as ‘experimental’ – but this album has been put together with a tremendous amount of thought and a very high level of skill.
I mean, you never know WHAT you’re in store for when someone claims to be in the experimental genre; worst case scenario, you get someone’s basement-tapes that should have stayed in the vault forever…and the best case scenario is something like we have here with Scenes Through The Magic Eye…something completely NEW.
Now, to be fair, there’s a large visual element that accompanies the music of Rasplyn – so to hear it is truly only one aspect & dimension of this project as a whole. If there’s one thing I can completely confirm – it’s that this music would absolutely SLAY everything with some awesome visuals to go with it. I think of the virtual musical mayhem that occurs around the three and a half minute mark of a track like “Priestess Of The Goddess" – just try and convince me this wouldn’t make for an absolutely amazing moment in time; and that sounds exactly like what you can expect when seeing Rasplyn live.
The songs right from the opening track “Circle Round," find this interesting way of weaving in and out of each other…different effects and instrumentation or vocal layers…it’s all very trance-like…very dream-state… While I appreciate the uniqueness of the way this album starts, it was definitely “Priestess Of The Goddess" that secured my attention. This track is incredibly diverse within itself, and just an absolutely gorgeous assembly & structure to it; menacing at times, beautiful and serene at others.
Rasplyn is born from the creative and captivating mind of Carolyn O’Neill. Now – no joke here, she’s got herself a full-on degree in Music Composition and it is AUDIBLE. You can hear the skill and mastery, the authenticity and the courage to break new ground all over these incredibly textured soundscapes. Listen to “Treasures Drowned" and you’ll get what I mean. Listen to the way she brings in each and every sound…the amount of space…the constants…it all comes together perfectly.
If anything, I can certainly understand that this would sound similar to a soundtrack score for many out there…we all know you don’t ALL listen to experimental music – though 99% of my kick-ass readers and supporters sure do! I certainly dig on instrumental music, which largely this is, but there is some truly great vocalization happening as well. She perfectly ties into “Open Door," with a chant-style vocal before the track breaks into this stunningly beautiful second chapter. These songs are dynamic, intensely vibrant and full of passion…full of LIFE.
Just listen to the atmosphere she creates through a track like “Temple Moon." The bells and synth combo here…slight percussion…MAN – WHAT AN ENVIRONMENT SHE CREATES IN MY BRAIN! The wind sounds….the horns….there is absolutely nothing to NOT marvel and wonder at here; musically, this is everything going right, right, RIGHT. And building up to its intense & worthy finale…this track is a well-oiled machine and just rolls along perfectly with its dark, melodic intensity, all the way through.
“Among The Stars" made me throw my headphones on, just to see what the full effect would be like rather than the ol’ stereo. AWESOME. The stuttered drum pattern is complex and awesome to get the brain around, the vocal effects and samples are just absolutely off-the-wall, but again, if this isn’t an example of experimental music done at its 100% best and most unique, I just don’t know what is.
The album winds up at the seventh and final track, a remix of “Priestess Of The Goddess (Ephemeral Mists Mix)" which nearly recalls another instrumental band I know and love very much, which is Tortoise. Their beautiful tones and ideas would be about the closest thing I could come up with for you all as a ‘sounds-like’ for Carolyn’s work as Rasplyn. Incidentally…this remix is so damn good, it’s a complete toss-up as to liking this, or the original more. They both stand out, they’re both unique from each other as Rasplyn keeps you guessing right up until the final moments of Scenes Through The Magic Eye.
Absolutely worth your time; the album Scenes Through The Magic Eye from Rasplyn, coming to us all from the experimental (and obviously pretty damn cool) label, Mythical Records, will be out officially on November 30th, 2014.
Jer @ SBS
Stay connected to the upcoming news about the album release, and with Rasplyn at: http://www.mythicalrecords.com/