The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Austin Powell, September 28, 2012, Music

Lymbyc Systym

Symbolyst (Western Vinyl)

Symbolist painters in the early 20th century communicated with dream imagery, steeped in the Romantic tradition but with more personal and enigmatic allusions. That's an apt reference point for Lymbyc Systym, an instrumental duo whose warm soundscapes are left open to interpretation. The Bell brothers – former Balmorhea drummer Michael and keyboardist Jared – recorded their fourth album (and first for Austin's Western Vinyl) long distance, trading files between Brooklyn and Japan. You can sense that digital progression with Symbolyst, the pieces locking together like IKEA furniture – clean, bright, and purposeful. What the two lose in spontaneity, they make up for in melody. Opener "Prairie School," with its layers of bubbling keys and programmed beats, offers a helium high similar to the Octopus Project's One Ten Hundred Thousand Million, while "Falconer" and "Eyes Forward" swell behind the strings by Slow Six composer Christopher Tignor. These are transcontinental suites, imagistic and optimistic. (Lymbyc System plays inside at the Mohawk after Dinosaur Jr. and Shearwater on Thursday, Oct. 4.)


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