Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Sion Orgon - The Black Object

The Black Object marks the return of Sion Orgon following his contribution to Fourth Dimension Records double single Presently Untitled. We're glad he's back as although resolutely underground we rate his releases highly. Prominent in the Welsh arts for his sound design and composition for theatre, dance performances, installations, film and television. He's perhaps best know to us and our readers for his albums Orgonised Chaos, The Zsigmondy Experience and Recognition Journal and his musical and visual collaborations with Thighpaulsandra. Those aforementioned albums were wildly unpredictable taking in soaring post-rock, blissful electronica, prog electronics, musique concrète and pop melodies. Convoluted and complex, favouring long intros and extended outros songs could start in one place and end somewhere else. The Black Object available on download and as a limited cassette release features appearances from some of the artists involved in his previous album Recognition Journal - previous releases have included members of Jesus Jones, Rocketgoldstar, and the dearly departed Peter Christopherson of Coil. Described by the label as a "hauntingly beautiful dark ambient journey" The Black Object is largely "instrumental" featuring a more concise and focussed presentation of his work. That's not to say there are no vocals, there is. This time though, the vocals are manipulated and effected to the point of incomprehensibility so much so that they become vivid sound pieces within the tracks. The Black Object is a wonderful distillation of his more understated experimental work.

From its opening of processed, stuttering electronics and metallic rattle, 'The Black Object' may at this point hint at the previous work of Sion Orgon. However The Black Object for the most part foregoes song based structure for a deeper, darker experimental soundscape filled with dynamics and abstract elements. Chugging synths give way to synths that ascend and descend ominously, evocatively and repeatedly in a brooding film score way. Voices are effected into mysterious alien forms and layered almost as another sound source, within the rise and fall of the synth-strings to great effect. 'The Black Object' is perhaps more subtle and less complex than what follows on the subsequent tracks but it maps out the brooding and darker (alien) terrain that the The Black Object is located within.

Veering between sound textures and manipulated synths, the twisted cut-up processing of electronics, rhythm and voice of 'I Used To Be An Outrage' is as deranged as Coil's Love Secret Domain, as snippets of electronics blend and blur, synth chords crash amidst the tinkering of disembodied piano notes. Despite its myriad of disparate sound elements it all strangely hangs together. At the hands of others it could be woefully avant garde and inaccessible but Orgon crafts a distinct sense of musicality from its composition of audio collage. It's a perfect example of why his work is so invigorating and interesting. Orgon works with such subtlety it seems at times almost effortless. Just listen to the airy drone of 'My Loss Of Void' furnished with tinkering hollow rhythms, miniscule screeches and tones, interspersed by the occasional clank and sound shudder, as it slips onwards as a radiant shimmer.

'The Groom Of The Stool' features a gentle layering of varied oscillating drones, some electronic and some manipulated from voice. Furrowing deeper with flurries of rhythmic clatter it ploughs further into harsher realms before it cuts to the chime and tick of a clock to form the opening of 'The Lizard Is Alert'. It's a beguiling proposition that eventually flits between pop operatic melodies and sped-up and chopped processed voice. Before all that though sidereal electronics bend and blur amidst jarring sound shudders and processed sound elements. When Orgon's melodic vocal tones do appear they're slipped between passages of haunted air classical instrumentation and some heavily manipulated spoken voice. More classical instrumentation appears on 'Wish Spitting' which with its piercing drone and abstract woodwind instrumentation combine to create something closer to his theatre scores. Beautifully dissonant and slightly unnerving the soft pulse of the droning electronics absorbing the classical and flute woodwind instrumentation with an understated charm.

Quieter and more drone based than his other song based albums, The Black Object does continue his ability to seamlessly involve textures, dynamics and complexity. This is really impressive and the meagre run of 100 cassette copies don't do it justice. Tremendously creative and inspiring, on The Black Object Sion Orgon makes the abstract, avant garde and experimental alluring and accessible. If the above appeals then I urge you to seek out Sion Orgon's other works you won't be disappointed. For more information go to Nife Bandcamp or Sion Orgon Bandcamp