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CD Feature/ Seetyca: "The Lake"

img  Tobias
It never ceases to amaze me how Drone Records releases work on many different levels. „The Lake“ is yet another piece of their blurgeoning catalogue’s puzzle (already approaching its 100th entry), which reveals its wonders only after several listens and in different stages.

First in this game of lugubrious onion peelings, there is the psychoacoustic layer, the sphere of the unconscious, which this EP hits upon first. Seetyca have discarded larger parts of the official vocabulary and grammar of their native Germany and created their own language, partly Berlin-dialect partly mediaevil fantasy, for correspondance with the outside world. Consequently, their music speaks in tongues which the body will find easier to decipher than the brain.

„The trees“ on Side A opens with nervous sibilations, an entire orchestra tuning up, brass sections going wild, timpanis rolling and roaring, noises from what could be a maniacal railroad crossing – all hiding underneath a cloak of tarred mist. From deep below, Ligeti-like choirs well up, never fully coming to culmination. Towards the middle of the track, a terifying calm sets in, filled with memories of the void and only occasional bass pads or tucked-away effects: The sound of an ill-guided nap at midnight, which leaves you unsure whether waking up or staying asleep is your best option.

On the flipside, the title track seems to spread a more composed ambiance, but that impression is quickly undone by its uncanny tone. Similar source material is used, only in a disturbingly discreet way, as if a chokingly thick muffler were placed over the tips of a frosty landscape. Drones are coming to the point of distortion, atonal echoes are merging with stretched cow bells, fields of reverb flower in the bed of a clogged-up river and a sweet melody plays in the distance – Freddy Kruger would feel at home in this place.

After the first sensation of disorientation has died down, a more placid look reveals the minute details and lucid arrangements at work here. While „The Trees“ is marked by a curved tension arch, which goes from utter confusion to an equally hideous resolution, „The Lake“ offers more soundscape-like qualities, which allow the listener to investigate it from several different angles. Both, however, are based on organic development and a responsive hence-and-forth between its building blocks, which suggests they may well have been constructed in a quasi-live situation.

It is anyone's guess how long one can keep this process of discovery going. Quite obviously, however, these two tracks are as addictive as a pop single. While the latter uses your brain as a host for an empty archetype, which wants to be filled again and again by the reproduction of the original, the former implants memories in the responsive ends of your synapses. Getting back to the music of Seetyca is therefore a nostalgic act, with each new spin a mixture of the present listening experience – and those which preceded it in the past.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Seetyca
Homepage: Drone Records

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