Arvo Zylo is one of those few humble souls who manages to go all out with his artistic integrity, pushing what he does into every realm of his life. When he’s not creating his unique brand of rhythmic/experimental noise, he’s putting together live performances or interviews with unheard of names and prominent figures. When he’s not doing that, he’s writing about other people’s music. When he’s not writing about music, he’s writing about SOMETHING. This guy is always creating and, much like his music, it has order and purpose even through it’s chaotic structure and surreal disposition. Zylo hails from Chicago where even his work at WLUW-FM 88.7 allows for him to reach out his creative fingers and deal with music (and non-music) on a daily basis. This doesn’t even begin to address his other project, Mister Fuckhead, or his live appearances such as the Dead Audio Festival 2010. There’s something to be said about the underappreciation that people like this receive — they kill themselves, not just for their art, but for other’s art as well, but it’s all that experience that makes what they creat that much stronger.
The breed of industrial noise that Zylo creates is unique in both its rhythmic allure and also it’s ability to be both incredibly intense but not overly harsh. 333 opens up with “Quicksand Eggs of a Beaten Pathos” which opens up with a carnival-esque melodic line that ends up evolving slowly and steadily over a minimal beat before eventually collapsing into a chaotic stream of disruptive and brutal noise. This onslaught of distorted electronics is only tamed by eventual percussive accents and a minimal melodic line created out of various singular piano fragments that are eventually nearly swallowed by an ominous, gradually building drone at the bottom end of the track. The consumption never quite occurs though and instead the bottom drops back out and we’re led back full-circle to the carnival style of the opening with some powerful industrial influences acting as percussive elements. The carnival sound eventually drops out too and all we’re left with is this disturbing, eventually bombastic death industrial sound that eventually flat-lines as the track quickly fades out only to come back to life as an entirely new entity that has enough character and duration to stand as its own track, but has probably been included as a second chapter of the same track to keep with the theme of “3″. It’s this formula that Zylo follows through the three tracks found on “333″ that make up the bulk of his style. Strong old-school industrial influences and minimal percussive textures, various rhythmic and experimental sound segments, some slight melodic synth-play and some oddly psychedelic moments that are hinted at by the album artwork.
The five-minute mark of “Deadbeat Deluxe” is a great example of the psyched-out aspect of this release with another playful rhythmic melody that progressively abstracts and builds intensity just to overwhelmingly collapse as in the track previous in an onslaught of industrial noise and disruptive experimental moments between beats. Even a danceable interlude moment approaches at the 11-minute mark of this track which came absolutely out of left field, but somehow also wasn’t entirely unexpected. The fact is that the bulk of “333″ sounds remarkably authentic and natural — or as natural as an electronic release can be. Where much music today can be forced and seem to be created out of the artist’s need to create something within the borders and regulations of something they love, Zylo’s work flows so well, not just between sections and tracks, but between entirely different genres of electronic music, that it comes across as a literal part of who he is. Of course, there is only a certain percentage of truth to this realization as electronic music with structure in any form takes time and focus to create, it can’t just jump forth from your fingertips like a guitar melody or poetry from your lungs, but that doesn’t change anything. Though the 59 minutes that make up this release may have only slightly overstayed their welcome, being the only source of negative reactions, “333″ never leaves your bored or looking at the clock. Segments are always evolving and moving towards their next progression, but any work of personal art has the ability to wear on you leading up to an hour’s duration.