Mad Ducks 2019
Instrumental astronomy from international, yet close-knit as family is, unit that charts celestial course through sound, if not vision.
Situated across the pond from each other, in Brussels and Austin, it’s no wonder that a follow-up to “Re-De-Generation” – the Theys brothers’ debut as a duo – took them twelve years to deliver. During this period, Touch guitarist Cédric and drummer Alban matured immensely, and the soundscapes the siblings create attained a new depth. Named after various stars in Canis Major, a constellation housing a titular astronomical object, the six pieces on “Sirius” aren’t immediate in terms of tunes or simplicity – quite the contrary – but the music here is arresting after a proper listen.
The full multi-dimensional scope of these sonic edifices may not be obvious from the start, when stereo-fathoming licks usher in “Mirzam” where ambient beauty is slowly emerging, via bass rumble and deceptively repetitive loops, into the great wide open to suddenly unfold a sparkly aural vista, yet not a static one, while delicate percussive stampede propels the stellar picture forward. It will turn claustrophobic in places, especially once different beats collapse to paint a Middle Eastern desert patterns or strings play around dynamic amplitudes, like they do in “Wezen” that’s elusively menacing.
The drift can also get sparse and let electronics shimmer and shake against the bottom-end call-and-response which is very much alluring, with “Muliphein” targeting a trance-like trip. Still, stars radiate light, and the translucent “Adhara” should brighten any day without resorting to new-age miasma, but riffs are never far away from here: they’re so delicately woven into “Furud” whose epic airy fabric comes filled with chthonic lows and celestial vibes that gradually stumble into hectic chaos.
It’s thence that “Aludra” progresses to the fore in all its cinematic glory and techno-tinctured mischief; and it’s there that the sound dissolves in silence to welcome a new spin of this record.