The Sunday Experience - Review of Quadrillion/Rasplyn by Mark Barton

3/24/2013

"Is that the much maligned harpsichord we hear subduing and seducing away in the back ground of ‘toxic poison’ giving it a bewitching baroque flavouring twisted in mystery, suspense and magic. And what’s this, for do I hear the ominous pang of murderous portent assumed by the appearance of the slowly coiled ice cold bass refrains ushering in a sinister horror-phonic coffin casing much akin to some darkly volunteered Carpenter meets youthful Bauhaus doom draped chamber chill. And then the monastic chants and the utterances of ritual scripts in forgotten and forbidden tongues. And what was briefly enchanting is in the blink of an eye laden in menace and malevolence. The band in question are Quadrillion a doom drone metal band who feature amid their ranks one Carolyn O’Neill who divides her time between being the director of the Logan Square New Music Ensemble (a grass roots chamber group), co-ordinator of the resolution digital resources (producing video installations) and Rasplyn (her musical alter ego of whom we mentioned briefly in tales from the attic Volume X - see http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2013/02/25/tales-from-the-attic-volume-x-2/ and on the odd occasion can be heard collaborating with Philippe Gerber AKA John 3:16 - who incidentally will feature in this missive a little later on). If pressed to explain what I find so appealing about the work of Ms O’Neill / Rasplyn I’d have to say it was the varying spectrum of styles applied, take Quadrillion’s ’toxic poison’ as a case in point - brooding, dark, industrial gruel where elements of Soriah, UK Decay and Coil are cannibalised and spat out and wherein through the insane gloom of hopelessness within emerges something very much informed by a ’suspiria’ era Goblin. Now measure this up against say ’14 black clouds’ - a beautifully bewitched and beguiled floral bouquet of twilight peaking enchantment dimpled in wood-crafted forest imagery, the moods carefree and light take unrestricted flight, the reference points located somewhere between Moondog and Bernard Hermann are engaged in a sweetly caressed folly of tension, drama and mystique with the fog bound dreamscapes accentuated by a ghostly aura and serenaded by the divinely serene siren call of squirreling wind florets. Elsewhere if Sergio Leone had ever decided to relocate his spaghetti westerns to the far east and rather than whittle a story line of a gunslinger but rather an avenging samurai with no name and presented the story line to Morricone then what might have emerged as an epic symphonic score wouldn’t have been far off the mark as that realised on ’video game techcon’ - a lolloping oriental seasoned brooder recalling the off centred musicality of ’once upon a time in the west’. And then there’s the previously mentioned in passing notes ’scenes through the magic eye’ which sees Rasplyn deep in a surrealist classic landscape dimpled in Vernon Elliott kookiness and chimed in the mercurial detailing of a ’lemon girl’ era Philippe Petit. For us though best of the set here is the simply breathless and exquisite ’a dark wood’ -.clipped in rolling evergreen pastoral folds and spiked in noir overtures all kissed with romantic rushes and silvered in a deeply consuming and arresting cortege of pure unadulterated mercurial classicism, here twinkled in balletic poise string and wind recitals playfully pirouette to engage in a baroque bewitchment to craft a scene peppered in fleet footed regency and adorned in tranquil beauty to visualise the scurry of rabbits, the predatorily conspiring foxes, the watchful overseeing eye of the owl and the carefree busying of a woodpecker. To bring matters to conclusion there’s even a three hour sound mix set entitled ‘music to my ears’ featuring an eclectic selection of tracks hand picked by Catherine which includes cuts by empty vessel music - who I’m sure we’ve featured in these pages at one time or other - monsieur durek, charles mantis, wet fur, vision fortune, blue sausage infant and of course John 3:16 - https://soundcloud.com/rasplyn"