Stephen Clover's seht project never fails to amaze me. His releases run the gamut from soft, microtonal drones, to cut-ups and field-recordings, to gauzy, tranced loop-work. ?Syddo Paragone,? released on the wonderful and prolific Audiobot imprint, synthesizes the fruits of this diverse sonic palette into a forty-minute sea of loops, buzzes, samples, and hums; an aural ocean that one wants to nothing more than to drown in ? over and over again. The disconcerting outset of the record?s lone track sounds like a gaggle of entranced autistic children tap dancing in an effort to find some kind of stasis. Metal chains or coins jingle in their pockets, their little tennis shoes squeak amidst the chaos.
Clover is a master of tension and release tactics, and he employs his artistry to an astonishing effect here. Slowly, ever so slowly, the autistic children get worn out, tired and frustrated, retiring to couches or beds to muse on the foghorn brass drones which quickly appear to have consumed their entire worlds. Clover seamlessly fuses these broken space-trumpet loops with dub drum programming, shuffling clouds of static and glitched violin bowing, only to dissolve this rhythmic web into a blissed mesh of heaving, undulating bass drones moments later. These startling segues are pulled off with a divine sense of spatial presentation that makes it seem almost easy. Clover?s meticulously crafted tone-masses sound effortless and organic, a testament as much to his skills as a musician as to his prowess as an engineer.
From here Clover merges what sounds like giallo soundtrack synths with rattling floorboards, drunken fruit bats and whispered tape loops. A heavily modulated, trance-inducing wall of drone follows. Somewhere, deep deep down in the mix, I hear those same autistic children finally finding peace, humming mantras absorbed straight into their third eyes. At the end of the piece, they tell you about it, revealing their newfound tranquility before stadium rock bass riffs and motorcycle engine revs cover their happy voices in pure, low-end crunch. Simply put, this is another superb release from seht. Clover is a unique and brilliant stylist and ?Syddo Paragone? is simply amazing and beautiful in every way. 8/10 -- Alex Cobb (27 June, 2006)