EJ 29 CD
released Sept 1999
Edward Robert has been Cyrus Rego on and off since he was 16. Long before he joined Paul Newman's eponymously titled instrumental rock combo (and later I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness) he would spend countless hours in front of a four track machine trying to emulate the spaced out synth noodling of Klaus Schulze and Isao Tomita. Though these bedroom-style recordings have yet to see the light of day Emperor Jones can now offer you an exclusive taste of Cyrus Rego's deeply resonant sound explorations.
With a little help from friend Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, Windsor For The Derby) these recordings of melodic washes were made over a series of evenings in early 1999 with an ADAT and the roughest of ideas. The resulting 7 tracks of drifting, reverberating drone-therapy is ideal bedtime listening. The sonic equivalent of a flotation tank in your own home. Put on your headphones and let it take you out there...
"With help from the blissout folks in Stars of the Lid, on his project's first self-titled effort Robert creates, perhaps unsurprisingly, a series of lengthy, evocative songs heavy on the reverb and barely there singing. However, Robert's work isn't set simply to lull, often hinting at a huge blast of sound that could happen if he wanted to - a bit like Slowdive, without sounding per se like that band except on the piano-guitar looming gloom of "Eastbound, Road Ends, Rail." Suffice to say anyone interested in shoegazing, modern psychedelia or post-rock, however described, will almost certainly enjoy what's on offer here. Opening track "The Sort of Juice I'm Used To" makes for a fantastic start, growing more and more strong by the second. First soft atmospheric samples of birds and the like set the tone, then a guitar/bass interplay, with plenty of processing, Robert's restrained singing, soft, crisp drum machine sounds, all fleshing out the song more and more. It's easily enjoyable with full attention or as ambient background, and it starts the album off excellently. When Robert sings on the album it mostly is to use his voice as a barely understandable instrument, thus the very soft singing on "Progress? Progress." Instrumental tracks take up the bulk of Cyrus Rego, and they're all quite fine; no ground is being broken with such beautifully drony pieces as "The Very First," but they're lovely to listen to for what they are. "This With No Bars Set" ups the ante by approaching the ominous sense of guitar creepout from the likes of Main, at least at the song's beginning. "I Will If You Will" adds heavily electronically treated percussion to really emphasize the strange beauty of the group's work, while the concluding "Absolution" brings Cyrus Rego to a breathtaking close." - Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
Puchase Cyrus Rego.