Monday 7 November 2016

Ten East - Skyline Pressure (Album Review)

Release date: October 14th 2016. Label: Self Release. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Skyline Pressure – Tracklisting

1.Daisy Cutter 13:02
2.Eye Soar 04:42
3.Historical Graffiti 05:40
4.Planet Blues 06:21
5.Skyline Pressure 05:50
6.Sonars and Myths 14:33
7.Stalactite Dip 03:13
8.Tangled Forest 05:26

Band Members:

Gary Arce: guitars
Pieter Holkenborg: guitars
Erik Harbers: bass
Bill Stinson: drums
Nico Morcillo: guitars


Eight years after The Robot’s Guide to Freedom, the Palm Desert based supergroup Ten East comes back with a new journey through sound experimentation, which heavily marked the compositional approach of the band.

This new release from Ten East see Gary Arce (guitar) and Bill Stinson (drums) joined by Nico Morcillo (guitars). Plus Erik Harbers (bass), and Pieter Holkenborg (guitar) from Automatic Sam, in what can be called the most prolific year of Arce, already present in Zun‘s Burial Sunrise (Small Stone Records) and Yawning Man‘s Historical Graffiti (Lay Bare Records).

Skyline Pressure (Small Stone Records) is a pure concentrate of psychedelia that, in a little less than an hour, brings the listener to a higher dimension, where jazz, stoner, and surf overtones blend masterfully. Ten East seem to be comfortable with long instrumental sessions, as shown in the opener Daisy Cutter, where the initial riff goes on for over 13 minutes song like a mantra, intertwined with the echoes and solos of the second guitar.

The next songs, Eye Soar and Historical Graffiti, goes in the same direction of the opener, with the guitars chasing each other while the rhythm section masterfully sets the pace. The album flows slowly and softly, with sudden spikes as in Planet Blues and then turning back to lysergic sounds that accompany the listener into dreamlike atmosphere. The long Sonar and Myths is, indeed, a long psychedelic trip where the mastery of the four musicians blends to get lost in a single ensemble.

The album closes with Tangled Forest, a powerful song combining stoner riffs with psychedelic noise, where guitars once again chasing each other in a dramatic crescendo.

Is kind of hard to frame Arce and colleagues to anything, as their music is a perfect mixture of many different styles and texture. Skyline Pressure deserves, without a doubt, more and more than a listen to be fully appreciated. Fans of far reaching instrumental music won’t be disappointed from the long psychedelic trip set up by Ten East.

Surely, this is not an album for everyone, at least not for lazy listeners. Here we go over. There is the desire (and skill) to explore different musical terrains, pick them up and blend until all different influences do not become one single soul. Although a lower playing time would benefit the overall listening of the album, Skyline Pressure is, undoubtedly, an imaginative journey through modern psychedelia. Must listen.

Words by Bruno Bellisario

Thanks to Earsplit for PR for the promo. Skyline Pressure is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now from Small Stone Records.


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