Boomkat Product Review:
The Sunn O))) axeman and GRM director render a second collaborative LP of resonant electro-acoustic shadowplay and amp worship that finds both artists operating in voluminous, negative space.
Ongoing since 2018’s recording of the first ‘Cylene’, O’Malley & Bonnet’s project has evolved without interruption through a stream of concerts, installations and recordings that now feed into ‘Cylene II’. Both based in Paris, and approaching from very different angles - O’Malley on guitar and FX, Bonnet manning synths and mixing desk - they realise a mutual conclusion of soul-searching improvisation free of any fixed meter and prone to cover ground from rapt, reverberant quiet, to sky-razing riffage in any one piece. It presents the artists at their mutable best, each drawing from considerable, respective wells of knowledge and experience, honed over decades, to articulate expressions of life and death that resemble traces of folk drone traditions as much as interstellar noise and the atmospheres of psychological thriller films.
To our minds and ears this is music best received with eyes shut and pareidolic perceptions wide open. The harmonic interplay of ‘Four Rays (Anti Divide)’ conjures the feel of cold, sepulchral space through its metallic reverberations and O’Malley’s shearing plumes of guitar, before they settle into the tense calm of coruscating harmonic colours to ‘Rainbows’ and erupt ever upwards with the doom invocation ‘Vulcani di Fango’, triggering O’Malley to his most fanciful flights of manacled, sky clawing in ‘Ghosts of Precognition’ and feels like a dip into the Parisian crypts on ‘Troisième noire’, which follows a shaft of light all the way to the closing ‘La ronde’.