Review Summary: -to the four winds-Sua-Hiam-Zun
calls for single word utterances, where you say the first word or phrase that comes to mind, and let it linger in self-justification. Austerity. (...) Sure, it definitely has a sense of solemness, steeped in lifelong humility and discipline. Zen. (...) Well, yeah, the album has a meditative quality, and evokes an artificial, oddly-shaped rendering of nature to be used in reflection, like a rock garden. Popol Vuh. (...) The comparison of Taiwanese psych-folk duo Scattered Purgatory to the German experimental rock band is warranted, as we see a ceremonious blend of Western and Eastern spirituality that occasionally contorts into something terrifying. Were it acceptable practice, I’d reduce this review to a list of maybe twelve words or phrases - that arrive to me in real time - and leave it at that. The album tends to conjure single notions and let them slowly unwind, somehow working out sensibly.
It might betray Sua-Hiam-Zun
’s essence to spend much time on the details, but, duty calls. Beneath the veil, there is a lot happening, and one might slip out of a trance, realizing in their sudden sobriety what’s at play. The percussion on opener “Antarabhava” is a lulling throb in the forefront, yet you might forget it’s there. Tracks like “Dream of the Yellow Sorghum” patiently and stealthily layer themselves in synths, drones, stardust, and meandering keyboards; and, they could strip each layer off until nothing was left, and you’d still be swaying along in silence. Much of Sua-Hiam-Zun
is like this: a distraction. Closer “New Gate” rests in the eye of a hurricane, as though its dark contemplation will stave off the surrounding storm. The album doesn’t forcefully place the audience anywhere on a spiritual plane, but instead facilitates the listener to do that on their own. Scattered Purgatory spend a lot of time hunkering down, moving little. This doesn’t mean Sua-Hiam-Zun
lacks direction; rather, it’s like a musical proof for centripetal force, where the force is directed inwards and everything comes full circle.