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URUK - The Great Central Sun

URUK - The Great Central Sun coverMassimo Pupillo and Thighpaulsandra are back with their second contribution to Ici D'Ailleurs Mind Travels collection. Over 5 past years have passed since the textured drifts of Mysterium Coniunctionis. In the interim they released The Descent Of Inanna a live recording from Geneva on the Cave12 label. Aside from his work as bassist in genre-blurring ZU, Massimo Pupillo is a prolific collaborator in jazz, experimental and avant garde circles. Becoming Animal with Cinder Flame being another of his most essential collaboration projects. Thighpaulsandra has worked and recorded with Julian Cope, Spiritualized, Tim Burgess and Hawkwind and was a member of Coil during their much heralded moon musick phase. His own solo work is expansive and can be wildly experimental and here with Massimo Pupillo as URUK they create shifting soundworlds borne from synths, electronics, bass and mellotron. As experienced sound explorers the duo continue with their deeply introspective textured drone and ambient vision whose captivating results remain distinct from their other work.

In keeping with their previous releases The Great Central Sun opts for lengthy sound excursions this time with two tracks. From heavily distorted stretched voices 'Per Speculum in Ænigmate' evolves around a series of lulling warm synth tones, which are almost orchestral. Its grand oscillations ebbing like a church organ offset by space tones, electronic flickers and rumbles providing the cosmic edge to these mystical sound explorations. Its experimental construction belies the subtlety and gracefulness that unfolds from this. Midway through with the swirl of clink and chimes, it becomes more deeply spacey emitting static, frequency tones and snatches of radio transmissions. Toward the end a darker, heavier throb vibrates underneath accompanied and quickly subsumed by a distant haunted melody ascending back into lighter territory. The whole thing resonates with interacting vibrations and tones as if communicating in a vast galaxy.

'Radiating Rainbows' unfolds to slivers of layered synths, shrouded in an angelic drone, amidst buzzing and shivery ringing tones. URUK are at their most restrained here, with enveloping and arcing electronics so heavenly, so sparse and spacious. It travels into a realm which is deeply cosmic and even though at least one of half of the group is not spiritual it is enlightened with a mystical edge caught within the flow of its sighing electronics emitting nebulous patterns of sound. Burrowing deeper, in dark heaving drones punctuated by thuds it slips into a blackness and further into sparse drone and then, as if crossing a threshold, it drifts into a pulsing like tick tone re-establishing itself with choral tones. It's a staggeringly impressive journey into the light, as those angelic choral tones and drones seem to act as an axis or a source from which everything flows and returns to.

Both members of URUK have been silent on the aims behind the project but these two expansive tracks could be considered as either explorations outwards into space or a journey inwards to the deeper recesses of ourselves. Either way, and however you want to regard it, this second instalment to the Mind Travels series from Massimo Pupillo and Thighpaulsandra is their best yet and one I would consider as the most effective and absorbing release from this enigmatic project. Great stuff. The Great Central Sun is available digitally and as a CD from Mind Travels bandcamp