Saturday, 15 November 2008

Medusa Cyclone - Mr. Devil

Medusa Cyclone formed in 1992 following the break-up of legendary Detroit psych band Viv Akauldren, and is the solo project of Keir Mcdonald, VA's keyboard player. To date, there have been three albums, of which 'Mr. Devil' is the second and my personal favourite.

The sound of Medusa Cyclone is almost as far removed from Viv Akauldren as was Jeff Tarlton's acid folk musings. Gone is the wild, choatic psychedelic rock, replaced by hypnotic and disorientating experiments in sound. On Medusa Cyclone's eponymous debut album, it was often obvious where the influences were coming from (Wire, Syd Barrett, Faust, maybe 'Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy'-era Sun Ra). With 'Mr. Devil', it's clear that Keir Mcdonald had moved out of the shadow of his influences and fully developed a sound of his own. While there are some 'songs' here (the minor-chord moodiness of 'Beyond Earth' and 'Hypnosis Take'), the album is more concerned with trance and experimentation. Sometimes unsettling, often beautiful, always hypnotic, 'Mr. Devil' is an abstract, intense journey through many moods and textures. A great record, one of my very favourites.

Track listing:

1. The Smith Can
2. In Diameter
3. Beyond Earth
4. Ouija Ground
5. Invisible World
6. Blind Witch
7. Z-Man
8. Dr. Weird
9. Subzero
10. Lightning Cross
11. Living Bomb
12. Hypnosis Take
13. End Cloud.

Medusa Cyclone are still active, so no download link for this. Buy it here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Devil is a great record!!

I agree with your list of influences--but would add in an additional one: javanese gamelan guitar tunings. It's clear McDonald is reaching beyond the standard tunings and dipping into an ancient wellspring of sound!!

check out his other cd: Tangier--that one is a space journey to another world!!