Paralycyst / Sun Rad – split
2.23.17 by Bobby Power
Property Materials is a Boston-based label that releases split tapes by Sun Rad, which is also manned by a co-founder of the label itself. Since debuting November 2015, the imprint has released four splits, each featuring Sun Rad to foil both local and long-distance counterparts (from Salem, MA to Oakland, CA). But Sun Rad’s take on enthusiastic and neon yet experimental dance music proves to be more dynamic than one might expect.
The label’s album description suggests that the tape is: “dance music for those who stayed up late and partied in the basement.” Luckily, both sides bring a genuine sense of makeshift but efficient DIY show at any house, gallery, or backroom.
Paralycyst doesn’t appear to have much of a public presence. Researching the project only shows that it’s run by “a musician from Oakland, CA.” Here, the four Paralycyst tracks would strike a deep chord with any fan of Container, Cube, or any other modern techno-industrialist. But rather than just another in the crowded techno(ise), the sounds maintain their own sense of frayed rigidity. “Altercation” starts off a rote and unassuming drum beat clicking its way through some blown out speaker. Soon enough, waves tighten and loosen in bizarre patterns. The mechanized beat slurs in and out of focus while utilitarian melodies play themselves out. “No Rave” is a blast of 8-bit precision and acid-like pulses. “Peripheral” and “Filth” to the opening track’s bleak, pummeling monotony, cycling through an endless loop of noise. It’s a shame to see Paralycyst hasn’t released anything since this tape last summer.
Where Paralycyst goes deep into the darkest corners of a basement noise show, Sun Rad brings the modest crowd in together to close the night out moving around a bit. “Endless Midnight” makes no bones about it, launching into a jarring and hypnotic run of stabbing 90s acid. It’s similar to LFO but modernized in the vein of Kanding Ray or Andy Stott. “Heaven Knows” plays a bit more with negative space, following a bare beat in oddly vacant space. As the track builds up, a fluorescent shape appears and takes over. “Content Mirage” is the happy medium between the two, mixing unabashed hallmarks of dance music (synthetic hand claps, percussion, and sighs) and perfectly closing things out.
Sadly, the tape edition of 50 copies is sold out at the source, but you can grab a digital copy via Bandcamp.