Review: Ctephin – DUAD (2009)


artist: Ctephin
release: DUAD
format: 7″
year of release: 2009
label: Drone
duration: 13:16

detailed info: discogs.com

Ctephin is a family-based experimental music project from Oklahoma who have presented a great number of releases over the past decade, ranging from self-released material on digital and physical formats, as well as other releases on labels like AntiClock and Ethedrone Muzac. One of the latest of these is this wonderful 7″ in the ongoing Drone Records series, presenting two enigmatic and gripping organic drone pieces on golden vinyl.

Themed around mystical visions of the afterlife, the two sides of this single present evocative music. The first part is a musical image of a serene and somewhat mysterious heaven. Drones are combined with an echoing string melody that emphasises otherworldliness, suggesting a vision of heaven that is wholly unfamiliar to us, compared to our earthly existence.

Perhaps contrary to expectations, the hell-themed B-side isn’t that much darker, nor does it suggest extreme sufferings. It is more intense and noisy, though, layering thick slabs of drone and noise, swirling cymbals, and some stinging pieces of melody. A softly building crescendo or pure energy that is impressive and overpowering.

For me, little more is needed in a release like this. Excellent experimental tracks, a loving physical presence with quality vinyl and hand-painted covers, and as such a pristine example of some of the best things to come out of the ever-growing series of Drone Records. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by O.S.

Tracklist:

A. [heaven]: Beatific Vision (7:32)

B. [hell]: Precipice of Origin (5:44)