Cycles & Connections
Cycles and connections, the second album by Receptor Sight is an interesting mixture of various influences put together in a soundtrack type form. Imagine a bit of early floyd, a bit of brian eno and coil, mix that in with rush, can, sonic youth and the Japanese noise masters of the acid mothers temple. Now lay back in a candle lit room, crank up loud and listen to the various experimental sound creations, layers of melody, and enjoy. 'Cycles and Connections' is an interesting collection of meditative instrumental compositions that defy classification. The best way to describe the unique qualities of this album is to take you through it track by track. The music begins with 'Flying Towards the Hole' an uninhibited tribal beat that intensifies as it changes. The beat is accompanied by a number of sound effects that blend naturally into the unpredictable progression. Next, 'The Basal Ganglia Forest' brings us into a formless work of middle eastern style guitar and acoustic percussion (the liner notes do nothing to explain the instrumentation so I can only guess they used a small set of bongos here). After a brief interlude of ambient noise we are plunged into the surprising 'Fourth Song.' This track is the first thing the album presents in the way of a conventional progressive rock song with it's electric guitars and driving beat. Even this song breaks up the form though; about half-way through the action begins to rise. Soon after it falls, and twists and turns until it evaporates into a cloud of sound. 'Slowed Down Thumb' is collection of chimes and other small percussion (sticks, blocks, etc.) that puts one in mind of a Philip Glass composition (with the keyboards removed). This is followed by 'Bagel and Green,' the highpoint of the album. This lengthy track has a jam band feel to it. It has much more structure than anything we have seen thus far. Still, it mutates a number of times. It begins with a deceptively simple melody, and once you think you've nailed down the pattern it changes. The album ends with 'Escape Velocity/ The Receptor is Open,' a swarthy mixture of dark sounds. A low drone lays the foundation for a collection of percussion, strings and watery noises. The track ends with a brief moment of intensity which fades to silence. Even when it's over you're not sure it's over. I found myself enjoying this album much more than I had expected, because it purposely defies the human mind's desire for repetition. These ever changing compositions have a way of disturbing and comforting simultaneously. I know many listeners will try to pigeon-hole Receptor Sight as 'stoner music.' Call it what you will, this album can serve a variety of creative purposes. Key Tracks: Bagel and Green Reviewed by: Jared Brown.