Gapers Block - Review of Rasplyn's Live Performance at Schuba's in Chicago

11/1/2014

"Dial In, Rasplyn, & Brash Flair Shared Their Eclectic Sounds With Schubas

By Julian Ramirez

Sometimes it's better not knowing much about the musical acts you're going to see. It's an incredibly great feeling to be surprised and turned into a genuine fan of musicians that you were unfamiliar with. Such was the case this past week at Schubas, where I was met with an diverse and all around fantastic collection of local musicians. Originally I was expecting to see Gemma Ray, but her cancellation came far in advance and I was ready to experience what the Chicago music scene had to offer. Turns out I got way more than I was expecting from all three acts. The groove-able sounds of Brash Flair, the darky mystical Rasplyn, and the electronically inclined rock of Dial In delivered a great eclectic night of Chicago musicians at Schubas.

...Tone shifted in a very interesting way with Rasplyn, the solo project of Carolyn O'Neill. Throughout her set O'Neill implemented a diverse range of live instrumentation to accompany her prerecord sections, including a bass guitar, clarinet, bells, and a rainstick. Her sound has a dark O'Neill fuses together a combination of artistic elements into her performance. The textured and incredibly layered songs are played in tandem with very striking visuals of distorted greenery and implied mysticism that prevail amongst her videos. Her songs are often punctuated by her voice in a near meditative chant, avoiding input from lyrical connotations, opting for a more of a beautiful droning darkness. "Circle Round" is an really interesting outlier, which repeated the passionate mantra, "We are a circle", as O'Neill strummed her bass. Her final song hit a serene high with the use of a meditation bowl echoing its hum around Schubas."