Demian Castellanos is best known as the driving force behind London psych heads The Oscillation, whose hallucinogenic, kraut-infused psych is some of the most 'out there' material around. However, on his upcoming archival LP 'The Kyvu Tapes Vol.1 (1990-1998)' ( jointly released in May by Cardinal Fuzz and Hands In The Dark) Castellanos shows us his more introspective, experimental side.
To quote the Cardinal, the LP is "the fruit of his 90's decade-long, obsession for the infinite possibilities offered by the electric guitar - playing it with forks, knives, bits of paper, volume control, and making the most of the effects pedals he had - was countless hours of experimentation and sonic explorations on a 4-track Tascam Porta 3" and these sonic explorations have produced an LP of mood, texture and invention, reminiscent of the twentieth century musique concrete and electroacoustic innovators - Shaeffer, Henry, Parmegiani et al - in spirit and, at times, in style and technique (albeit with the advantages of modern technology!). However, this experimentation is not harsh and abrasive and out to shock, but full of drones that wash over you; ambient and meditative explorations in sound and resonance. It is an LP in which to get blissfully lost.
'High Road Raga' gets the proceedings underway with it's eastern vibe and what sounds like backmasked melody over a echoey drone and the vaguest hint of a heartbeat...it is a gentle portent of the sonic adventure to come. 'Decaying' is a darkly ambient piece with drone and menace bubbling through. Via the pulsing 'Time Slip' we get to 'Lizard Raga' with it's evocative guitar over some waves of heavy, distorted drones, again with a pervading eastern vibe. 'Photon Waterfall' has some wonderful treated guitar (that brings to mind some of the prepared piano work of John Cage) amongst a glorious, hauntological cacophony that would not sound out of place on a Ghost Box Records release. 'Afterthought' has some, for this release, relatively straightforward guitar work that sounds vaguely classical over a thudding, and yet ambient sounding, beat. 'Again' is another exercise in what certainly sounds like musique concrete but with almost proto-industrial rumblings, whereas 'Headless Aztec' has more treated guitar and backmasking which combine to give a South Americam, panpipe feel in places. 'Particle Suspension' is another dark ambient piece of which Lustmord would be proud....menacing metallic drones and a sense of foreboding. 'Gateway' closes the LP, a woozily ambient piece and the longest track on the album.
Tiny mix tapes:
It’s weird to experience something so old that was way ahead of it’s time, only to find it’s time NOW, when it’s perfect for the modern listener.
Solos walking across your mind, from one ear to the other. A bass-line that’ll wooze in directions you’ve yet explored in terms of spirituality. And most importantly: a searing back-drone that’ll clear your mind of all evil, and resonate the positive nature. “Lizard Raga” subliminally brought you peace through the trudging, melted guitar that oozed from a much younger Demian Castellanos years ago.