On 2012’s Blue Moon Saiyeed
, Sudatsuga’s sound was that of a psychedelic tribal experimentalism that did a frightfully fantastic job of presenting the challenge of dark, encompassing ditties that, even when upbeat, felt harrowing and constricting. If Blue Moon Saiyeed
was the initial step into something bold, black and beautiful, it could barely have made a clear enough statement of what was to come. Sudatsuga’s sophomore album, Hain-Ba Sun Hex
, builds upon everything found prior and unleashes it tenfold. It’s longer, it’s denser and it’s more understandable as a whole, taking advantage of its claustrophobic atmospheres and breathing life into the music. Stepping out of the darkness, Hain-Ba Sun Hex
gently crawls into rays of sunlight with a more natural flow and concentration of ideas. Where Blue Moon Saiyeed
felt disjointed and not completely aware of what it was trying to be, Hain-Ba Sun Hex
picks up the pieces and fully realises its potential--
--and it’s not completely understood until the third track starts. Following the first two tracks, which more or less felt like a continuation of ideas from the debut with their soft, even playful natures of cautiously strummed tunes with eerie vocals and perky percussion, ‘Flagrant Gadis (Weeping Goddess)’ jumps in with both feet in a gorgeous arrangement of dissonant droning and reverb-ridden drum beats sounding off. It feels like stepping out of a cave and into a vast desert of light, torture and helplessness, the harsh sun beating upon your bare chest with its still violence. But it’s here where the album really begins to represent some kind of trip. The wide array of sounds and textures presented all through the album from this point on present different atmospheres, feelings and evokes many different images. From trekking deep deserts to being coldly calm in a darkened wood, watching trees rustle under the force of the wind to being trapped in a cavern with only an echo surrounding. The little riffs and melodies played throughout Hain-Ba Sun Hex
are memorable and much more engaging than any of Sudatsuga’s prior works, all helping to build the thick threshold the album takes you through. Songs shift and change dynamics, quieting to nothing but a whisper with twisted musical arrangements being found even in the most elementary of sounds, drones boom and roar and click and run around the listener’s head.
The harmonies found here seem to be much more developed, songs like ‘Locust Leaves’ presenting an almost perfect example of ethereal mandolin riffs and vocal ‘hooks’ that bounce off of the beat to create something really unique and wholly enjoyable in all aspects, especially when they’re sent into a meat grinder of distortion and a fuller spectrum of sound as the song evolves. Sudatsuga makes use of fuzzy, static sounds to his advantage as an artist, creating pulsing beats that really elevate the music, most notably in ‘Earthly Saahngrae’, in which a Boris-esque riff is developed alongside, then introduced are low crooning vocals, slowly sung alongside a softer, higher singing voice to counter the low croons. It’s quite something to listen to each song progress, ‘Earthly Saahngrae’ becoming its own antithesis at the midway point where it slows and develops into a medley of haunting repetitious chants and a static hissing that at times sounds like painful, intense screaming and ever-building crashing and loudening strums of strings.
And throughout the whole record, the songs rely on these same interactions, juxtapositions between the fuzzy warmth of the slower tracks and the haunting horror of the faster, more tribal tracks that pound into your skull and provoke feelings of fright and fleeing. While ultimately a much darker affair than Blue Moon Saiyeed
, this album still seems to have much more breadth to it, it’s much deeper and spacious. It doesn’t feel as basic and claustrophobic. Much more coherent and delectable, Hain-Ba Sun Hex
shows of all the styles and skills that Sudatsuga has to offer and it’s a deep dig to be delved into with each listen, presenting a new experience each time.
So yeah, it’s pretty good.