Sybarite | Sonna | Lilienthal
This is one of those friendly little EP releases that just grooves my noodle. Take three different artists who have a couple things in common and throw them in a pot together, then stir for something that doesn't really sound like any of them, yet retains familiar elements. Although I've admittingly never heard of Lilienthal and don't really know what part they play in this split EP, the other two groups seem like a nice match. On the eve of his new release on the 4AD label (the forthcoming Nonument), Sybarite has shown a unique ability to mix organic and electronic into some sublime concoctions, while Sonna (who also have a release forthcoming in the next couple months) play guitar-intertwining, warm melodic rock.
The result is something you might expect given the above, as 4 tracks float by in just under 20 minutes, and while the music is definitely guitar-based in origin, it's been tweaked enough that you won't mistake it for instrumental folk anytime soon. "Make Shift" starts the release with some low-end bass pulses and what sounds like the squeak of a fret slide before a manipulated guitar melody strums out over it all. Eventually, it skitters into a backwards chorus of clicks and pops and just enough swagger in the rhythm to make you want to sway your hips just a bit.
"Carousel" takes a little more time to get going, building through a layer of quiet static to mesh manipulated guitar melodies before popping some random drum bursts in and again falling off to ambience. At under a minute "Four Way Street" is more of an intro to the last track than anything else, and "From A Person We Seam" doesn't disappoint. Starting out with a touch of trickery, it drops off to downright slowcore for a middle section before fluttering guitar manipulations lead into a finale with muffled beats and more subtle guitars. After it's all over, you wish that it would go on a bit longer, as all the parties involved seemed to have struck on something that works pretty well. For fans of Four Tet and the groups involved, it's a fun little release, and hopefully we'll hear more from the combo in the future.