Jeff Surak – Eris I Dysnomia

1.22.22 by Matty McPherson

Dysnomia is the only known moon of the dwarf planet Eris and likely the second-largest known moon of a dwarf planet, after Pluto I Charon.

Dysnomia is an aphasia in which the patient forgets words or has difficulty finding words for written or oral expression.

Welcome to the future. We’re here right now, live at the source: DC-based Jeff Surak’s latest tape offering Eris I Dysnomia. Surak’s name is new to me, perhaps new to you, but to the annals of home taping he’s about as decorated and astute as they come. The mail order web page links reviews that reveal “at one point, he was the organiser of the Sonic Circuits Festival” and that he’s still been rweaving a spirally-stricken labyrinth of tapes and digitals out on his own ZEROMOON label. For Eris I Dysnomia, he’s struck up a bountiful piece of ferric for Public Eyesore’s Eh? Imprint that highlights a litany of loquacious droning and sonic detachments. 

Dysnomia is a newfangled big brain word. Naturally it has two distinct definitions (see above) that delineate a location and a feeling that Surak makes a smack-dab layup out of over the C50 here.

Side A is all “Parasite Lost”, a slow burn for a grey day on a black sand beach. Surak is less about piercing,wailing soundscapes than imparting a suggestive, percolative quality to display. Where we start with cyclical motors and whispering winds quickly drones together and mends an image of an omnibus factory just out of reach; by the time we’ve reached it there’s another sound space that we’re circling towards; equally out of reach and yet thrice as piercing. By the time we reach that space, the sounds of  hinterlands seem to push us ahead. Each mome Surak invites listeners on this journey, trusting that each step of the way, each new found low hum or instrument inversion, we’ll stay focused on the present moment, where we are now, not headed.

Side B meanwhile decides to peel back the longform and instead highlight Surak’s own tenacious sound experiments. More concrete abstractions like “Concupiscent Strings” and “Asphalt Muzak” are as present-oriented as “Parasite Lost”. They marvel at their own gristling, precocious sound of the moment. Although for brief flickers, “Asphalt Muzak” hints at a subconscious pop prerogative that “Stuck” actually channels into a vapory, disintegrating two and a half minute detente. It’s a bizarre, but warranted moment on the tape that palette cleanses “16 Hours on Neptune”’s rather blissed out passage to the other side. Needless to say, Surak’s hodgepodge of ideas allude to a career that I can only hope shows further signs in my inbox soon.

Limited Edition Tape Available for Purchase from the Public Eyesore/Eh? web order page!