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Satin Black

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Album Review

Is Paik's fourth album supreme sonic sludge, or just supremely sludgy? That might depend on your taste for grim, power-trio instrumental drone rock that mixes metal, psychedelia, and noise, but certainly never tries to be feel-good. With five extended pieces running to nearly an hour's playing time, there's little if any compromise in their morass of sound. The dirge-like beats (and sometimes no beat at all) anchor layers of grimy distorted guitars, buzzing whines, overlapping and infinitely decaying sustains, and a bottom so black and solid it seems to have oozed from the deepest of coal mines. It's the kind of stuff you'll either want to crank to the max so as to obliterate all other sensory stimuli, or lower to the threshold of audibility in order to be able to even tolerate it. (And even set at a moderate volume, the density of the cross-fire is enough to set your ears a-ringing by the time the disc finishes.) The spaceship-caught-in-a-windstorm-of-guitar-frenzy ambience does get wearying, with only occasional hints of more conventional rock riffs to grab less avant-inclined listeners' attention, like the march-of-doom progression near the beginning of "Dizzy Stairs."


Formed: 1996

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Paik formed in 1996 when guitarist Rob Smith, bassist Ali Clegg, and drummer Ryan Pritts began to collaborate in Michigan's burgeoning space rock music scene. The trio released their debut, Hugo Strange, in 1998 on Beyonder Records. In 1999, the Spacer EP was released, again on Beyonder. In 2001, Paik released Corridors, their most ambitious record to date. The band contributed tracks to two compilations, including Noise Factory Records' Beautiful Noise...the Apocalypse in 1999 and Datacarbon Records'...
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