Scyye :: From EP (Sparkwood)

With only 6 tracks, From showcases Scyye’s variability as a musician, his fantastic skill on the piano, and the emotional nuance involved in creating his music.

Scyye :: From EP

Norway’s Sparkwood Records, from whence came the brilliant Principality of Dustland by Everyday Dust, is home to a group of similar artists, who play with etherial darkness, ominous noise, and cross-genre pollination. Berlin-based Scyye’s From EP fits in well with the body of work on Sparkwood. Danny Srp is the creative mind behind Scyye, and he has since released a full-length record as Scyye, Timegazing, which is no doubt just as good as the EP, which I have yet to hear.

With only 6 tracks, From showcases Scyye’s variability as a musician, his fantastic skill on the piano, and the emotional nuance involved in creating his music. The opener, “Fraction Of Infinity,” carries echoes of Everyday Dust’s record, bringing to bear an unearthly personality that clangs its way into a well thought out melody, riding atop white noise and the dusty hiss of a needle passing over vinyl. When additional melody and accompaniment enter, they complement the lo-fi melody, but none of the motifs stay long enough to be intrusive, and the threadbare tune quickly fades out, to be replaced by “In A Circle,” which showcases Scyye’s easy familiarity with a piano. More upbeat than its predecessor, “In A Circle” feels like it comes out of an entirely different space, and its repetition becomes a comfortable mantra after we lose a sense of where the melodic phrase begins and ends. It’s an altogether simple song, composed of clean sounds. The minute-and-a-half “Nine” is next, and it returns some of the thoughtful calm that was present in “Fraction Of Infinity.” Barely audible, scratchy vocal samples support a synth lead that reminds me of nothing so much as a flying car in a vision of the future in the 80s. Scyye is not content with allowing listeners to build expectations, so it makes sense that “CCTV” sounds like a tune that would belong on an RJD2 record. A string line whose opening phrases harken to the Beatles, “CCTV” is hip hop to “Fraction”’s ambient, “Circle”’s neo-classical, and “Nine”’s retro-futurism. “We Remain” follows, and once again changes the tone completely, and sounds like something Sigur Rós might have released in the early 2000s, which I find to be absolutely beautiful. It is dominated by simple, climbing major chords, with subtle assistance from some well-applied effects and synths. “To” closes out the EP, and is an exercise in ambient swells, flowing smoothly between chords and maintaining an air of floating. It leaves me wishing that From was a full-length release.

Scyye showcases his wide array of talents as a musician in this release, and I am sure that his full-length album, Timegazing is an altogether excellent record, especially if, unlike From, it carries a concrete theme throughout. This extended player feels in some ways like a demo tape, in which Scyye wanted to demonstrate that he can do it all. Fortunately for us, he can.

From is available on Sparkwood.

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