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Sejayno: Laity

Sejayno: Laity

Release Date:2007
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By Bret McCabe | Posted 9/12/2007

Admiration for Peter Blasser's handmade electronic instruments as works of one-of-a-kind art--see: dominate this review if what they produced weren't so disorientating and intoxicating. His Sejayno debut for Jason Willett's Megaphone label--according to the True Vine web site, a trio of Blasser, fellow Baltimorean Carson Garhart, and Severiano Martinez from Oakland, Calif.--is a dispatch from a heretofore barely glimpsed culture. If those back-to-basics wing nuts in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs had actually been a bunch of music- and art-loving intellectuals who bugged off to some Indonesian archipelago with a cadre of Eastern European women, a Radio Shack warehouse's worth of electronics parts and doodads, a few Tesla coils, a stack of Fortean Times magazines, and the complete filmography of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Laity would be the Smithsonian Folkways recording of the indigenous music they made.

And you'd wish you were in the know enough to go along for the ride come "Civil War Boys," a one-minute and 37-second salvo halfway through the album that feels both like an anarchic reveille and a brief reminder of the Western music they left behind. Coming after opener "The Laity"--a nearly 13-minute odyssey of water-drop plinks, circular electronic haunting, spoken-word mantra frights, and electronic sighs and queries that feel like you're being slowly submerged into some wet, viscous mud at a rate of one centimeter per minute--and the equally ambient reflection of "Cemetery Rose," which also doesn't offer much of a handhold, "Civil War Boys" is a brief reprieve from the alien landscape, but its horns and drums quickly remind you that the comforts of the known aren't all they're cracked up to be, encouraging you to embrace the Coil/Nurse With Wound-esque fever dreams of the final three songs with a newfound fortitude, just to see how far out Sejayno's tunneling leads. Like a healthy amount of the absolutely singular music released on Megaphone, Laity isn't fake weird--its sincerity is so far off the reservation that few road maps can show you how to get there. Any effort put toward finding it, though, is worth it.

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