The Residents - "Rivers of Hades" CDR Review (Ralph Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Residents - "Rivers of Hades" CDR Review (Ralph Records)

The Residents - 'Rivers of Hades' CDR Review (Ralph Records)The Residents’ Rivers of Hades is currently available as a CDR which Ralph is selling through its eBay store. The band describes this release as “music conceived as an aural art piece to accompany the release party of The Residents toy figures recently designed by Steve Cerio. The original music was conceived to utilize two DVD players that were programmed to randomly play abstract bits of music. They would play 5.1 surround audio and each would play different things. The project (which required 12 speakers placed in a circle around the gallery) was entitled “Chaos is not just a theory”. In Greek mythology, Hades was a child of Chaos.

As these kinds of things go, it never quite worked out. The gallery never agreed to provide the sound system and some people felt it would be unpleasant for attending guests (correct) so by the time the toy release actually happened (there were several lengthy delays) The Residents had lost interest and had moved into other projects which did not allow them to even attend the toy release opening.

A track from this project, “Hades” (which includes the music that ended up as "Acheron River"), first surfaced on the Ten Little Piggies compilation and The Residents adapted the music on Rivers of Hades from part of the music written for “Chaos is not just a theory”.

River of Hades is an instrumental disc which contains a mix of dark cinematic soundscapes and polyrhythmic and syncopated percussion. “Acheron River” starts with a percussive intro which leads into dark, cinematic synths and woodwinds. “Cocytus River” is a dense cuisinart of sound which is similar to the blend of percussive and cinematic music heard on THE UGHS!. “Lethe River” is less musically dense than its predecessors on the disc and its hazy atmosphere has a constant undercurrent of a pulsing organic beat. “Styx River” sounds like a couple of kids running amuck on Bill Bruford’s electronic drum kit and there are a couple of rock guitar riffs (Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak”?) thrown in for good measure toward the end of the song. The final cut, “Phlegethon River”, reverses the percussive/cinematic blend of “Cocytus River” and is (predominately) sweepingly atmospheric.

1. Acheron River - 3:23
2. Cocytus River - 13:14
3. Lethe River - 8:33
4. Styx River - 11:01
5. Phlegethon River – 8:46

The Residents