Review: Parashi – Silenus (Retrograde Tapes, 2012)Posted: April 6, 2012
The Chicago tape label Retrograde Tapes already got the listeners used to the filthy, acerbic soundworlds filled with sonic unease and unwelcoming environments. Mike Griffin’s Silenusis no exception: as suggested by the dark, rough artwork, the sounds here are sandpapery and hostile, often rumbling in the low-end of the spectrum or hitting piercing high notes in sudden bursts of the old fashioned ultraviolence.
Lonely, echoed droplets of water herald the coming of the end: rising from the background hum in a series of rhythmic, rough patterns arise to accompany some obscured, undefineable beat in the vein of the minimalist style of late Sightings, together with brooding, glitchy synth fuckery. The tape unfolds very slowly, with the patience of early industrialist monks. Naked circuits moan and whine occasionally, only to succumb further to the plodding, low-end beat that dominates everything in its path. Mechanical repetitions converge into one maniacal, hangover loop that finally burns out and dies anticlimactically.
Side B is even more abrasive, while still being a slave to some regular, pre-existing pattern throughout the entire piece, the sounds here are much more uncontrolled and unsettling, high-pitched, bended synth shrieks jump abruptly all over the primitive, oscillating drones becoming a bridge between the haunting number-station like transmissions and looped hypnosis, MKULTRA style. The sound of Parashi is definitely on the more rudimentary, raw side of synthesizer music and is designed specifically to provide a challenging experience to the listener. The sound is disorienting and outright scary, there is always genuine fear lingering behind mangled voice samples or acidic patches. Worthy of checking out for the fans of Difficult Listening.