Review of The Sound-Board Breathes Album by Gyratory System

Review of Gyratory System's album The Sound-board Breathes released through Angular.

Gyratory System The Sound-Board Breathes Album

If ratings were to be given on sheer stand alone originality then 'The Sound-Board Breathes' would receive ten out of ten every time. Of course there's also the small problem of actually having to listen to the record and while it isn't a discouraging experience as such, it would be hard to imagine many people choosing this over a host of other, more considered collections as a whole.

That's not to say this, the first record by Dr. Andrew Blick, founder member and engineer behind the Gyratory System is a dismal offering in any way, shape or form. His revolutionary use of the trumpet in a focal rather than supporting role makes 'The Sound-Board Breathes' one of the most unusual records you're ever likely to hear this side of 'Bitches Brew'. Furthermore, his effects-laden compositions whilst sounding like nothing else on earth offer a slightly miasmal view into a world that stretches far beyond the realms of simply creating minimal music.

Initially renowned as an accomplished session musician having spent the best part of the past twenty years appearing on records by the likes of Moose, Cinerama and Solex, Blick's most recent involvement came with short-lived London based anomalies One More Grain. Also a well-respected academic, having achieved degrees at various doctrines in Government and Contemporary British History whilst writing several books on politics, including his latest novel 'Premiership', a collaboration with Professor George Jones on the office of Prime Minister.

Taking all of the above into account, its difficult to fathom how Blick finds the time to write, record and produce his own music let alone spread it out over the course of one entire album, but here his instrumental passages veer from incidental electronica ('Brumaire') to off-the-wall creations that recall late nineties one-hit wonders Wiseguys performing Hanna Barbera scores for cartoons (the rest) and more besides.

At times, 'The Sound-Board Breathes' feels a little bit too clever for its own good, and unwittingly takes a stroll into novelty territory, particularly on the penultimate 'Splurge Gun' which proves both irritating and titillating depending on the mood, state of mind and/or time of day.

Ultimately, Gyratory System, for all their leader's undoubted talents, falls just short of the genuine innovator status Blick clearly aspires to. File under 'Awkward Party Music For Science Teachers' should you ever feel the inclination to invite any round for an after hours gathering.


Dom Gourlay

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