Review: Ctephin - DUAD (2009)


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

detailed info: dis​cogs​.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)