Rhyton: Self-Titled

By James Calemine

This self-titled debut release on Thrill Jockey was recorded by Jason Meagher at his Brooklyn Black Dirt Studios. Atlanta native Dave Shuford (aka D. Charles Speer) fronts this trio that also includes Jimi SeiTang and Spencer Herbst.

Rhyton evokes some real six-string weirdness that resonates on a cellular level. This five song collection explores the same path Neil Young chose with Arc, or Crazy Horse at their most sinister and spaced-out…

The group’s official bio mentions the sonic quality regarding this recording: “The split stereo, dual amped electric leads utilized throughout the record are best experienced on tracks like “Pontian Grave” and “Teke” where phase and tremolo patterns bounce and surge from ear to ear, warping senses of both time and space.

“These two distinct sound sources are a manifestation of dual perspectives derived from a single emanation: this is not the fracturing of a voice, but rather its multiplying into a unified but complimentary chorale as different delay lengths and distortion levels cohere into an ensemble greater than its parts.”

Rhyton opens with the murky “Stone Colored”. A hypnotic quality threads through these five instrumentals. “Pontian Grave” emits a metallic quality in the sound one might find in some science fiction movie filmed in black & white. On this session, Shuford played electro saz, baritone electric guitar and electric mandolin. SeiTang played bass guitar, and Herbst handled all percussion.

“Teke” sounds like some eerie soundtrack in a fever dream. The music evokes an unsettling vibe to some degree…like some distant warning or dark omen. “Dale Odaliski” retains a mechanical quality like some echo of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, but more aggressive.

The final cut, “Shank Raids”, slices like some old Funkadelic riff that emits a merciless drive–a mean tune. Rhyton is not for the weak of heart. Brace yourself, if you dare…