Sound Cipher is the surreal, pulsating audio vision shared by three of modern music's most uncompromising sound sculptors. It’s the sort of thing that emerges when Tim Alexander (Primus, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle) finds himself inside a thunderous duo improvisation with Skerik (Critters Buggin, Garage A Trois, Les Claypool's Frog Brigade) during a soundcheck for Primus' Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory tour in Oakland CA. One person surrounded by a circular percussion station of preposterous proportions, another person hurling psychedelic saxophonic screams into the hellfire of analog and digital circuitry.
Skerik and Tim Alexander knew they were onto something. The first official Sound Cipher excursion was scheduled for January 2, 2017 at Studio Litho in Seattle WA with Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Six Organs of Admittance, Akron/Family) at the production helm. He would bring aboard Timm Mason (Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Wolves In The Throne Room, Eyvind Kang & Jessica Kenney, Jóhann Jóhannsson) to assist with modular synth processing during this first session, generally a technical advisory role involving lab coats and clipboards and chin-scratching. The participants arrived and were surprised to find Mason setting up in the live room instead of the control room. As the recording unfolded, Mason's direct in-the-moment sonic manipulation of the proceedings made it clear that he belonged at the creative core of the project where he remains today.
Listeners and innocent bystanders have reported spiritual resemblances to the experimental German scene of the '70s with traces of Can, Faust, Neu and early Kraftwerk, the dark manic rumble of Peter Gabriel's early work and the complex digital hardcore first birthed by Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, all of it wrapped in an unsettling atmosphere that verily reeks of familiar ingredients: a tumbling machine-tight groove, a wash of analog synths direct from your midnight movie memories, a snippet from your grandpa's old Louis Armstrong records stretched across miles of fizzling voltage and contorted into barely recognizable and altogether quite mind-altering new shapes.
Initial plans to release the 2017 session as Sound Cipher’s unveiling were revised when the trio found a new level of clarity in shaping their ideas following a series of live performances in 2018. Further recording and mixing took place in 2018 at Avast Studios, also in Seattle. Now, six years after that initial studio date, the finest flowers from those multiple sessions are available to adventurous listeners everywhere in the form of Sound Cipher's debut LP, All That Syncs Must Diverge, to be released April 21, 2023 on vinyl and digital formats via Royal Potato Family. The opening track "Grid Incursion" (listen/share) is out today on all streaming platforms. In addition, Sound Cipher will reconvene for three live sonic adventures in accordance with the album’s release.
All That Syncs Must Diverge
1. Grid Incursion
3. Church Turing
4. Permissive Action Link
5. God Mode
6. Entropy Pool
Out April 21 On Vinyl & Digital Music Platforms
Pre-Order / Pre-Save Here
Album Release Shows
April 21 - Seattle WA - Clock-Out Lounge
April 22 - Portland OR - Star Theater
April 24 - Livestream - Nugs.net