2017 // Cyclic Law & Czar Of Revelations
SUM OF R "ORGA"
Sum Of R create slow moving instrumental sonics with a sensibility for hypnotic and complex song structures. “Orga” (abbr. organic, organism) is an immersive voyage into a shapeshifting mist of raw-boned melodies and repetitive mantras. The album is a hybrid of ritual drums and eerie percussions, atmospheric analog electronics and epic drones forming a drifting orchestral wall of sound. Darkness, light and its reflections is what emerges from this mysterious aural mist.
Cover photography by Milena Kancheva.
- CD/DL (Cyclic Law, 97th Cycle & Czar of Crickets/Czar of Revelations, CZAR046)
- 2LP/CD/DL with 2 bonus songs (Cyclic Law, 97th Cycle)
Sum Of R's "Orga" has created the Soundtrack to 2017.
Reto Mäder is the brainchild of Sum Of R, a Switzerland-based construct/deconstruct musical project. Sum Of R has been re-imagining the music scene, one symphony at a time. With the release of Orga just around the corner, I was invited to dive into the dark, alluring world that the composer created.
Introducing a chilling start with the intro "Please Ring the Bells” and “Overgrown”, Orga is the unparalleled haunted house backing track you could ever ask for. As the album drifts more into a melancholic ballad, it could very easily be envisioned as the score to any Christopher Nolan work.
“Cobalt Powder”, the single from the album, was begging me to edge closer and closer to the edge of my chair. A delicate drumbeat framing a taunting paranoia of keys came to an abrupt end. It boasted the energy of Massive Attack while mirroring Boards Of Canada’s precision and beauty.
“After the Passing of Risk” could easily make its way onto someone’s intimate playlist. The mood gradually grows darker and darker with chords pouring in towards the end, finalizing the fervency.
The album draws to a close with more shallow, creeping paranoia, building you up for the re introduction of noisy old vocal recordings that were found in the intro. All in all, Orga is a beautiful timeless work that everyone - doom enthusiast or not - can enjoy….that is if you can continue the rest of your day with a tinge of despair... (Found // M. Pomerleau)
The ensemble is elegant, shimmering and emotionally elevated, combining sacred elements to sorrowful bleak industrialism. Imagine if the monolithic epic doom-rock pieces of Earth or Godspeed You! Black Emperor resonate into a pagan-ritual ambient sounding procession in touch with the divine nature and you’ll have a first idea. Massive, enthralling and mystical.“ (Igloo Magazine, USA)
"Orga" promet sans nul doute un voyage spirituel, embrasant les sens et les enveloppant dans une nébuleuse étrange, vive et mystérieuse ; relaxante par moment, inquiétante ou même confuse. Cet album cherche à traduire l’énergie cosmique en sons – où l’esprit, le corps et l’instrument deviennent un et flottent tous ensemble...(Daily Rock // Sarah Elionah, SUI)
2013/14 // Utech Records & Sum Of R
SUM OF R "LIGHTS ON WATER"
Lights on Water is the second Sum Of R full lenght album on Utech Records after their self titled 2008 debut.
On Lights on Water the Swiss duo discover their roots within a prehistoric ceremonial context. Those roots go back to times where the sounds of nature were reigned in, ritualized and utilized as food for the soul. They are the cries of gods, the crashing of thunder and the breaking of the waves that inspire the heartfelt intensity. The clash of multi-layered bass melodies, introspective sonic textures and anthemic drums with piercing and engulfing guitars sound like a tide between the most excessive forms of silence and noise.
Lights on Water represents growth in every sense of the word: growth in more concrete strong structures, and growth based on a period of live performances. It doesn’t matter how dark their vision gets, Sum Of R’s penchant for beauty always shines the way. What at first sounds like destruction results in a new and powerful reconstructing. Lights on Water stands where the lines between natural sound and human-created sound are blurred and leave only the intensity of raw emotion.
Cover photography by Corrine Futterlieb.
- LP/DL (Utech Records, URLP085)
- CD/DL (Utech Records, UR085 & SOR01)
Sounds like a shipping container being pushed through the mud by hand; every drum thump is its own distinct punctuation rather than an aftermath of the one before, shunting forward the duo's concrete block one inch at a time into a strangely coherent whole... (Rock-A-Rolla, UK)
Some of the most attractive aspects of Sum Of R's sound lies in the combination of a sort of ominous apocalyptic imminency, one of the most recurring and reasonable leitmotiv in the range of sources for inspiration, with a certain gore, which gives forth from sometimes unpredictable combustions of doom metal, industrial, instrumental rock and drone... (Chain D.L.K, USA)
2012 // Storm As He Walks
SUM OF R "RIDE OUT THE WAVES"
Ride Out The Waves" is a methaphisical six chapters story, that describes a Rite of Passage, a complex way to go through any common idea of genres using a living and dynamic approach to find a balance between darkness and light, powerful riffs and subliminal melodies, ritual drums and rarefied atmospheres.
Cover photography by Krist Mort.
- EP 12" LP/DL (Storm As He Walks, SAHW001)
The music of Sum Of R is a soundtrack of the judgment day. After the dark and ambient style of the early days of Sum Of R, their music turned into the doom of the new generation, comparable to the development of early Godflesh to Sunn O)))... (Onda Rock, IT)
This EP becomes the soundtrack to a very disjointed and episodic horror film. Said film, if it exists, is characterised by much bloodshed, sabres, and men on horseback cutting down villagers with a pitiless scowl of contempt... (Sound Projector, UK)
Finstere Gestalten und blanke Knochen in dunklen Räumen, eingehüllt in weiße Schleier. Ein modriger Windhauch sorgt für kleine Bewegungen und großes Unbehagen. Geheimnisvolle Klänge locken ins Ungewisse, unheilvolles Dröhnen warnt, unbarmherzige Ausbrüche stürzen dich in Abgründe... (OX // Konstantin Hanke, GER)
The music is a glacial floe of funereal doom and drone, shrouded in caustic distortion and punctuated by cataclysmic percussive downbeats and shrill electronic noises. Withering harsh shrieks and the sound of a siren ratchet the tension until everything falls apart beneath the final mallet blows. It’s completely crushing...(No Clean Singing, UK)
2008 // Utech Records
SUM OF R "S/T"
Switzerland’s Sum Of R constructing/deconstructing sound in ways that infest and cloud the interior of the mind. The implements: electronics, bass guitar, piano, harmonium and Lenco turntables. The science: deep pulsations, organic drones, melodic feedback accompaniment, vinyl loops, analog sound sources, reversed audio, haunting vocal treatments. The sum: a living, breathing organism that sustains varied levels of function without ever losing its holistic unity.
Cover hotography by Rik Garrett.
- CD/DL (Utech Records, URCD025)
Ten substantial episodes of vaguely morbid, doomy & perplexing musics. The sound sources merge into one another and silver vibrations create black whirls... (Bad Alchemy, GER)
Keeping it slow and almost-boiling during the whole time, Sum Of R manage to create a disturbing atmosphere. The nice thing about this album is that Sum Of R don't really trying to oblige to specific genre but leaning on the mood and the expression of their output. You hear some Sunn O))) riffs coming from the back, but then it becomes a post-apocalyptic canadian post-rock, moves into the minor dark-ambient of the likes of Xela and The Fun Years. The album pushed by eternal feedback, epic organ drones and manipulated vinyl loops, but also take the use of random sources and sometimes even some distanced-reverbed vocals mumbling in the background - all of that to create a very nice chaos to swim in, with some strong evoking moments in between... (Hairentertainment // Omer Schwartz, UK)
This Swiss project has a new take on sludgy drone music: most tracks here are full of harsh noise and feedback, while others are driven by a fuzzed out bass, all paired with the infinite tones of a harmonium. The increased sense of musicality based on a wider sonic palette makes for a better experience across the diverse tracks presented here... (Brainwashed // Creag Dunton)
The band's homonymous album is divided into ten tracks/suites where the aim is the creation of a growing tense atmosphere which sound suspended in time. For the whole album you have a sort of cavernous reverb effect over all the sounds which is make you feeling dizzy. Most of the track are based on guitar noises/feedbacks but there are also tracks like "Basics of sleep": on this one we find a background of looped sounds (vinyl clicks and few percussive sounds) where a treated piano is free to improvise an obsessive piece. If your reference for guitar noise sound are Sunn 0, well, with Sum Of R be ready for something different: if Sunn O))) base their sound on bass frequencies growling guitars, Sum Of R make their guitars sound like a organ mixed using a vacuum cleaner and then they add to it effects and other instruments such like electronics, bass guitar, piano, drums, harmonium and Lenco turntables... (Chain D.L.K. // M. Pustianaz)
Wo Sigur Ròs zu poppig sind, Bohren & der Club of Gore zu jazzig, Sunn O))) zu metallisch, sind Sum Of R fernab von Kategorisierungen eine bereichernde Hörerfahrung, die mir im Bereich experimenteller Musik lange nicht so intensiv begegnet ist. Es gibt Momente auf dieser Platte, in denen der Klang schwebt - und mit ihm die Seele... (Echoes // Steffen Greiner, GER)
VIDEO CLIP FROM THE ALBUM "ORGA"
Left: Fabio Costa // Right: Reto Mäder
Left: Fabio Costa // Right: Reto Mäder