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Syzygy (Music for Misfits & Malcontents)

Amp & Amp Studio

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Album Review

Another not-quite-Amp-but-might-as-well-be-effort — it's officially by A.M.P. Studio, according to the cover — this, like Heart and Mind Dissolves, the earlier A.M.P. EP on Darla, is strictly by Richard, with no other regular or side members to be found (though Karine and others are thanked in the liner notes). Syzygy is even more of a full-on drone-oceanic-guitar-echo-ambient experience than Heart and Mind was, with no vocals other than odd samples found deep in various mixes. Instead of simply being one lengthy blissout after another, though, Syzygy throws some spanners into the works to keep listeners on their toes — while the basic elements of Amp are unchanged, certain things are tweaked just enough to prevent repetition. A good example is "Vortex Danse," with a nagging piano/drum loop that is just screwy enough, with skips and starts as it endlessly repeats in an unclean flow. Matched with unintelligible whispers and the more familiar Amp wash of sound, it makes for a great hook. Other tracks show a slightly simpler origin of music than on the often heavily detailed, main-band tracks, such as the series of guitar pluckings with appropriate treatments that open the title track.

Syzygy (Music for Misfits & Malcontents), Amp
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