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Sion Orgon - Dust

Sion Orgon Dust coverSion Orgon is an artist we've revered and raved about for some time. Sion Orgon is a longtime collaborator to fellow Welsh sonic wizard Thighpaulsandra providing vocals, electronics, drums and much more to Thighpaulsandra 's expansive releases. His affiliation with Coil lead to Peter Christopherson providing audio manipulations and field recordings to earlier releases. These are cues of course, as Sion Orgon is a sound artist who composes music for installations, theatre and television. His solo albums including The Zsigmondy Experience and Recognition Journal have been diverse affairs marrying avant garde techniques with more song based material. Experimental electronics, ambience, post and prog rock can all be detected within the various intricate layers of Dust. So too does melody and his love of a good pop song which makes his work rather unique and distinctive. His last album The Black Object opted for a darker experimental soundscape, but on Dust he returns to more song based material of sorts with other tracks framed within textures and dynamics illustrating his avant garde approach to composition. Along with a number of guests including Thighpaulsandra on half of the album's 6 tracks, Dust is another exemplary release proving his ability to stretch and bend songs into areas, others experimental musicians wouldn't dare to go. He really is an under appreciated musical genius.

Dynamics, complexity and the juxtaposition of sound all feature within the works of Sion Orgon. It's far removed from conventional songs and all the better for it. From a holler of the title, the repeated lunges of 'Spat Out Like Dust' keep cutting back to an elongated distorted drone, as Richard Johnson (of Splintered, Theme and owner operator of Lumberton Trading Company, who have been behind 3 of Sion Orgon's albums) enters with spoken vocals, sometimes accompanied, as squirming sequences culminate in a repeated vocal hammer of "dust", as it moves further into stuttered sequences and experimental electronics and a haze of voices. Diverse and propulsive, it's an impressive opener to the first side of this mini-LP.

Sion Orgon expresses his avant garde tendencies more fully on the next couple of tracks. 'Ornament Centepide' casts different sounds ranging from rings, squelch and clatter together. It's not without its musical moments as amidst the juxtaposition of noise and textures are tinkering chimes, disembodied piano notes and an accented voice, layered with airy choir tones and sound crashes, providing narration. The harsher 'Headbomb' is unleashed from a series of crashing textures woven with a dual layer of distortion and angelic hum, and meshed with disparate Coil-like processed sounds sources as varied as bells, panting and careering electronic drone. It slips into sonic mulch before splintering into chopped and jabbering vocal treatments and cascading drum rhythms all sucked through into a noise crescendo ebbing out in a series of percussive rattles and glistening drone drifts.

Side 2 opens with song based material of sorts. Thighpaulsandra makes a vocal appearance on 'Who Do You Think You Are' speaking curious and spurious words over distended tones and frequency squelch. With a sudden blast of noise it opens out into gliding sequences, his voice shadowed in gorgeous treated poppy harmonies. "Who do you think you are?" he repeatedly shouts, over beaty electro sequences draped in sprightly piano scale runs. And just when you think it's going to continue in this form it abruptly cuts to an uneasy atmosphere of burrowing drones and manipulated textures. Sion Orgon is adept at seamlessly incorporating these more song based passages into his work and the following 'Disintegration' is a great example of how he handles something tight and controlled even though it takes a few moments of deceptive swollen drones and processed whirr before it lunges into bass heavy beats and pulsing sequences, allowing Sion Orgon to express his frustration through ravaging vocals. Eschewing his avant garde tendencies,'Disintegration' comes close to approaching straightforward angry industrial pop.

Sion Orgon adds so many twists and turns to his compositions tracks can and do veer off at tangents. Opening to graceful ambient synth 'The Mouth That Has No Face' slowly settles into shimmering drone couching the layers of harmonious pop-eque vocals, swooping and soaring over subtle melodic keys and drone. Proggy sequences are swept up in its undertow before it drifts off into a mulch of chant nestled amidst the screech and scrape of rattles and tones ensuring Dust closes in a beautiful, beguiling manner.

I doubt these words do justice to the sonic complexities within the work but Sion Orgon has the ability to make the avant garde accessible. Songs twist, turn, bend and fold in filmic and psychedelic ways, with songs loaded with his ear for heart stopping melody. Dust is his 5th album and it just adds to an already impressive catalogue of releases. Released as a limited mini-LP in a run of a mere 300 copies on Lumberton Trading Company and digitally from Sion Orgon bandcamp where a number of vinyl copies also available. Dust, like all work from Sion Orgon, is recommended.