“Akron/Family have certainly flirted with righteous dosages of heaviness during the last decade. On “MBF”, for instance, they blasted through walls of Bastard-sized noise; on a 2005 split with Angels of Light, they teasingly crept toward stillness, only to catapult into blasts of distortion-and-volume damage. But none of that adequately presages “Where the Wild Things,” the glorious wrecking ball that leads No Recognize, the debut EP from frontman Seth Olinsky as Cy Dune.These three intense minutes suggest Japanese freaks Fushitsusha playing pop-punk with equal-parts precision and madness. This is the most urgent missive to arrive from any member of the Family in years.”
“rock & roll isn’t dead! IT’S ALIVE. ” - Tiny Mix Tapes
LTG 013 // CY DUNE // DESERT
Cy Dune is the pen name and mytho-rebel persona of Seth Olinsky, guitar virtuoso, vocalist, and songwriter of influential underground noise folk punk freaks Akron/Family. Cy Dune is known live as a celebration of the raw, elemental, transformative power of guitar and drums, where proto punk blast beat and origin blues rock n roll free jazz guitar extend over iconic, layered drum riffs creating a raucous and transcendent sound, drawing not only on Seth’s work with Akron/Family but also on his work with Swans founder Michael Gira and post minimalist mastermind Rhys Chatham, as well as collaborations with avant garde and free jazz musicians from Hamid Drake and William Parker to Keiji Haino and Tatsuya Nakatani. Like Seth’s dynamic work in Akron/Family, this explosive power can break down the wall between performer and audience to make way for a beautiful gem of a quiet desert love song, played to a breathless room that was just shouting and dancing and moshing around in sweat covered shirts a few minutes before.
The Desert record is the original document of this Cy Dune experience. The initial music came about after experimentation making drum loops on a refurbished Alan Lomax Ampex 601-2, pushing the clash of layered 16th notes and African inspired triplet relationships to create a new, repetitive iconic drum sound. This process foreshadowed the meta sampling of the Cy Dune Summer Rebels project, but on Desert it is in it’s most raw and iconic form, layering energetic performances from free jazz drummer Andrew Barker and improv bassists William Parker (Cecil Taylor and Peter Brotzman) and Shazad Ismaily (Marc Ribot, Sam Amidon). The layered drums are mixed with ecstatic, shredding guitar excursions that capture Seth’s most inspired guitar playing recorded to date – simultaneously immediate and incisive and yet pushing out further than ever before into Seth’s free jazz background, drawing on Coltrane’s frenetic harmonic super-impositions and Ulmer-esque blues squall on the solos from When You Pass Me, Desert and Just Kids, and Sonny Sharrock-esque melodicism meets Ascendence-like group horn improvisation on the end of It is the Is which features Charles Waters (Gold Sparkle Band, William Parker Big Band) and Matt Bauder (Braxton, Bill Dixon, Arcade Fire) on horns, and then inter-mixed with beautiful post-Dylan desert odes and lost generation x pre-existential meanderings.
This set of songs was penned in the Sonoran Desert, after Seth and Lightning co-founder Ali Beletic moved to the desert in 2010, tested at various adobe house shows around Tucson, dim light, mattresses on the walls, at first with drums just loaded up on a Roland sp-202 (the old black and orange one) running through a bass amp, then sometimes out in open desert arroyos running off of battery power at the sound/noise poetry happenings that John from A&T organized with other poetry professors from the U of A and their friends from Montana or Oregon traveling through town and reading out of little books, and then eventually at SXSW with 40 drummers, including Dana Janssen from Akron/Family, Joey Westerlund from Megafaun, Ian Chang from Son Lux and Max Jaffe from Jobs. Seth moved to Joshua Tree in 2014 and this batch of desert songs continued to be deconstructed and developed, becoming part of installations cut together with Ampex samples of old blues tunes, merging into post-minimalist compositions performed in the Integratron, and then installed out in the desert with multiple amplifiers running off generators.
Lightning Records is excited to make the recordings of these songs available for the first time. Desert is the first in a series of Cy Dune archival releases from Lightning Records in 2019 (along with Against Face, and Summer Rebels), leading towards the release of a new Cy Dune full length in 2020.
Desert was recorded in Tucson, AZ and Joshua Tree, CA along with sessions in Brooklyn with drummer Andrew Barker, and bassists Shazad Ismaily and William Parker, with additional contributions in Philadelphia by David Hartley (Nightlands, War on Drugs), and Chris Powell (Need New Body, Icy Demons).
Desert was mixed in Detroit by Chris Koltay (Akron/Family, Liars, Deerhunter, Dirtbombs) and mastered in Brooklyn by Heba Kadry (Bjork, Lightning Bolt, Zs, John Maus).
Cover photo by Patrick Gookin, taken at Lightning 001 which was held at the High Desert Test Sites location in Pioneertown, CA.
LTG 006 // CY DUNE // SHAKE
Cy Dune began in 2012 in the Sonoran Desert outside of Tucson, AZ when alongside Lightning co-founder, conceptual artist and musician Ali Beletic, the two removed themselves from the conservative, middle of the road hipster culture of the late 00’s to begin again artistically in the sun and raw ancient Americanism of the desert. There he recorded his critically acclaimed first ep No Recognize and forthcoming Desert LP, and first married the primitivist poetic powers of the American blues mythology with the religious rock power envisioned by Patti Smith and the 70’s NYC art/punk movement.
Shake is planted firmly in the Lightning mission statement - we believe in the transcendent power of rock n roll. Inspired directly by artist Dan Graham’s video art piece Rock my Religion where Graham explores the power of physical movement in the Shaker religion and compares it to the shaking rock musics of Jerry Lee Lewis, Patti Smith, and Black Flag, Shake traces the DNA of rock n roll through its musical and poetic building blocks back into the human transcendent experience.
LTG 000 // CY DUNE // No Recognize
To Purchase Vinyl and Flac click HERE.
“No Recognize is stuffed to the brim with primitivistic guitar stompers and gritty road tales perfect for helping you plan a weekend of adventure and debauchery. Or, like, it could probably make going to Home Depot and buying paint seem like the shit. Either way, we think you’ll enjoy this” – Noisey
Stolen lyrical phrases of Willie Dixon and Jerry Lee Lewis collide with musical figures from the Bad Brains, early Beatles, Chuck Berry, Lou Reed, and Suicide, performed with an immediacy and aching commitment to rock n roll as an expression of mythological fertility, self expression and masculinity, a power symbol, a rebellion, a commitment to the belief that rock n roll contains certain indelible human rights, and through this belief a prayer to transcend collage - not mere reflection, but projection into a place where to move is to create a movement. To be moved.
After nearly a year of experimenting with these ideas in one form or another in performance and the studio, Shake was written, captured, and produced in its entirety over a 3 day weekend in the Mojave Desert on an art retreat in Joshua Tree, CA. Meant as a prayer to participate in authentic contemporary masculinity and the 21st century rock and roll religious experience, an open willingness to give over and participate in the unhinged fun of rock n roll, and the deep belief that this is something we all want.
“..spirit of hipslung rock that burns with a kind of badlands energy and further strips away the cosmic psych of the Akron’s latter jam leanings. The songs on Shake are quick and dirty and meant to be nothing but. They’re fuzzed and rolled in the sand for a grit that sticks in the teeth long after the last notes have wrung themselves from the air. It’s a primal stomp, which seems to be exactly what Olinsky is going for with the project. ” - Raven Sings the Blues
“For new project Cy Dune, Olinksy is louder and prouder, though certainly not “folk,” except in the sense that rock’n’roll was a dominant vernacular form of expression in the 20th century. “Make it loud / They can’t ignore us,” he sneers, demanding more and more, again and again, on new Cy Dune song “Move the Room.” – SPIN
“Some music has a certain intensity that brings out something animalistic in people. It’s a primal feeling; they want to dance –or just kind of move around. It’s music that energizes the spirit. Cy Dune‘s new EP, No Recognize is music that energizes the spirit” - Surviving the Golden Age
To Purchase NO RECOGNIZE ON Vinyl click HERE.