Gryphon Rue - A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers Music Album Reviews

Gryphon Rue - A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers Music Album Reviews
The New York curator and multimedia artist uses droning Farfisa organs and arpeggiated synths to tap into a tripped-out spirit of wonder.

Gryphon Rue taps into a specific type of psychedelia on his latest album. It’s the kind of ceiling-staring, mouth-agape feeling you only get from classic droolers like Terry Riley’s Persian Surgery Dervishes or fantastical obscurities like Randall McClellan’s The Healing Music of Rana: albums built entirely around the endlessly hypnotic capabilities of an electric organ in the right hands. Throughout A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers, the Farfisa organ is the main object of Rue’s worship; its delightfully bubbly, buzzing tone cycles in all directions, climbing up and down the scale and doubling back on itself in hallucinogenic fashion. Listening to it feels like going on a trip you may have taken before, albeit not in a long, long time.

Rue, a New York-based multimedia artist who also happens to be the great-grandson of sculptor Alexander Calder, is a student of the old avant-garde. He has curated gallery exhibitions and published essays, and on his radio show Earmark, he’s conducted numerous interviews with classic experimentalists like “Blue” Gene Tyranny and David Berhman. On A Spirit Appears, he works like a distiller, carefully crafting miniature trances that kick in as quickly as they evaporate. Unlike artists like Riley or McClellan, who might allow their drones to unspool into hour-long meditative descents, Rue takes a more streamlined approach, opting for shorter track lengths that spiral like shimmering dust in a crystal ball before settling in order to move onto the next phase. Though he walks in the footsteps of voyagers who came before, Rue’s command over this realm is enticing, his sense of dynamics and texture revealing a finely honed craftsmanship.

A Spirit Appears’ playfulness sets it apart from the many other modular-synth outings crowding the ambient field these days. While there are dizzying arpeggios aplenty, Rue’s sensibility feels more in line with late-’00s new-age disciples like Sun Araw and Dolphins Into the Future—artists who twisted their synthesizers into vehicles for whimsical marriages of sweet, glowing ambience and otherworldly noise. After the spiraling notes of “Watercolor Virus” and “Rainbow Serpent” launch the album with a joyfully lysergic smile, “Acoustic Temple” immediately dives into more haunted territory, hanging on a deep, raga-like drone that feels as if it’s going to swallow the listener whole. After building for a few minutes, the track slowly shifts into an ancient, ritualistic drum circle, conjuring the hypnagogic jams of Monopoly Child Star Searchers with its pounding rhythms and noodly, fluttering keyboard. By the time the track’s over, you might feel like you just got off the tunnel boat in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Though Farfisas and alien synthesizers dominate, as the record nears its end, Rue adds a drop of the real. On “Grass Light on Flesh,” after cruising on a slowly morphing squarewave tone for five minutes, Rue slowly introduces a field recording of a lone coyote howling in the night. It’s a grounding moment, yet it feels as mystically wondrous as any other sound on the album, as chirping crickets immediately transport us to the starry night this recording was captured on. Even if Gryphon Rue isn’t exactly breaking new ground on A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers, he manages to tap into a wide-eyed spirit of adventure, one that calls back to a chapter of basement-show DIY that feels like it’s becoming more and more distant. There’s a cozy warmth that comes from wrapping yourself up in its warbly, tripped-out blanket.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Gryphon Rue - A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers Music Album Reviews Gryphon Rue - A Spirit Appears to a Pair of Lovers Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 06, 2022 Rating: 5


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