Stygian Stride is Jimy SeiTang, a New York based musician in the NNCK axis who, as a member of Psychic Ills and most currently with Rhyton, was brought up in the midst of the groundswell of avant-garde and improvised psychedelic music in New York City over the past decade. On this, his debut solo release, SeiTang has moved away from rock music completely, instead turning his attention to gauzy electronic music reminiscent of Gas and the classic era of Mille Plateaux and Chain Reaction, with nods to Manuel Göttsching and Tangerine Dream.
What made SeiTang such an integral part of the improv based bands he’s worked with, his ability to listen and communicate, reacting in time to his bandmates' aesthetic and musical choices, is the same thing that makes Stygian Stride a successful endeavor. When writing and recording the album, he was reacting similarly to the different facets the machines’ unique temperaments, learning the particular personalities of each piece of equipment and facilitating the creation of something greater than the sum of its parts.
While melodic and rhythmic repetitiveness are the backbone of Stygian Stride’s music, each piece subtly evolves at its own pace and in its own way. “Hindsight” is pushed forward by a steady, muted kick, and washes of synth that coalesce into a ghostly melody. “Drift” features multi-layered rhythmic textures that shift in and out of phase, anchored by a a heavy drone, and “Taiga” features a similarly phased synthesizer arpeggio. The album is bookended by two beatless tracks. While “Celestial Stems” opens the album with gentle, hypnotic sequencer patterns, closer “Fade Into Bolivian” is one long, slow-moving foreboding organ melody over a deep, anxious drone.
Rather than composing and recording on a laptop, SeiTang sought out and collected vintage, analog equipment and conceived the album without MIDI synching. It was recorded by Jason Meagher at Black Dirt Studios (D. Charles Speer, Jack Rose, Expo ’70, Blues Control), and mastered by CGB ay Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin. Stygian Stride shows a side of SeiTang’s artistry coming to light that has up to this point laid dormant, just under the surface. This album is the beginning of an exploration of the intersection of the mind- expanding and the mechanized.