Cagri Raydemir returns with yet another series of enigmatic, prog-rock mysteries. Rarely does too long pass without a project from Raydemir. The German-based musician is as prolific as his music is puzzling.
And for fans of Raydemir’s previous two EPs, his new EP Absence will continue to confound as one enters its strange world. The four songs are titles ‘Absence of” … something. ‘Absence of Patience’ open the EP. The drums sound distant, the guitars detuned. This is Raydemir’s familiar territory.
The addition of brass is a nifty touch and one that represents Raydemir’s consistency in returning to his perplexing musical style while retaining a freshness with each release.
Indeed, ‘Absence of Candor’ may be one of Raydemir’s most creative songs yet. He sings through distant filters over an instrumental that almost transforms into something resembling a progressive metal song, with frantic percussion underpinning Raydemir’s jagged vocal melodies.
With Absence, Raydemir writes not about something, but about omission. The lack of something is difficult to write about because it doesn’t exist. Yet he never sounds redundant. His ability to continue through each song, saying something about the absence of something is oddly satisfying.
Being this thematic, both musically and lyrically, it’s understandable that there are times when Raydemir does sound a touch rooted in his own style. Discordant broken chords are his raison d’etre.
This approach can become one-dimensional, but Raydemir just about gets away with it. ‘Absence of Courtesy’ is witchy in the way that all Raydemir songs are, but the musical dexterity involved shows Raydemir at his instrumental best. The closing guitar solo is particularly discordant, attention-grabbing and skilful.
Closer ‘Absence of Tolerance’ is the album’s best. There’s something of a loud-quiet dynamic, but this is nothing like the alternative rock of Pixies. Raydemir uses the dynamic fluctuations to embrace pizzicato strings in a cinematic closer that’s blockbuster in grandeur.
Raydemir’s consistent stream of music is hard to keep up with. The EPs won’t be to everyone’s taste, with little in terms of fluctuation of mood. However, peel back the layers and there is great depth to Raydemir’s world.
It’s arcane at times, but with this EP being a tightly woven four tracks, it breezes past. And while its similarities to past EPs are not to be underestimated, Raydemir continues to build upon his previous releases as he develops his proggy, bewildering and mercurial world.