SUMAC: The Deal (2016 Repress) Cassette Tape


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SIGE Records 2016, repress.
Edition of 100 copies.
Repress comes in CS jewel case with custom letterpress print and alternate artwork.

Track embed:

The seed of SUMAC was planted somewhere around the end of 2010 or the beginning of
2011, sown upon the smoldering ashes of guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner’s former band ISIS. Turner
had seen his prior project reach full fruition over the span of thirteen years, and it had reached the end
of its lifecycle. ISIS had come to define an entire genre of architecturally meticulous and sonically nuanced
metal, but at some point all the corners had been mapped, all the fortifications constructed. There
was nothing left to build. Turner continued his musical path contributing to the deconstructed panoramic
soundscapes of Mamiffer, the misanthropic crowd-baiting sludge of Old Man Gloom, the exploratory
electrical whirr of House Of Low Culture, and a slew of studio projects running the gamut from
slow-crawling minimalist pop (Jodis), to fiery d-beat punk (Split Cranium). In the midst of all these
endeavors however, Turner tended to another venture, one that germinated slowly, its DNA already charted
but its flesh still to develop.

SUMAC finally began to bloom in 2012 when Turner caught a set by Vancouver’s raging
crust band Baptists. Drummer Nick Yacyshyn stormed through the songs, supplementing the band’s
blitzkrieg energy with dexterous idiosyncratic fills and modulating drum patterns. Turner realized the
rhythmic underpinning had been found, and shortly thereafter made contact with Yacyshyn. With this duo
now comprising the core of SUMAC, the band developed quickly. Their debut album sprouted from a set of
carefully composed guitar demos, a string of intensive days holed up in the forests of Vashon Island for
writing and rehearsals, and a quick recording session booked while the songs were still growing. Turner
recruited Brian Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch) to fill in on bass duties,
hammering out the low-end lurch and cementing the foundation to the songs. The Deal was born.

With SUMAC, noting the members’ prior accomplishments isn’t an indirect excuse for The
Deal’s existence; it’s a road map through the briar of their jagged labyrinthine compositions. Across the
span of the album’s six songs, SUMAC takes multiple turns through unexpected territories: textural hums,
math-metal, harsh noise, Caspar Brötzmann-inspired free-jazz. But all roads lead to a destination that
epitomizes the members’ passionate dedication to heavy multi-deminsional music—bludgeoning riffs,
tension-building structures, disorienting seismic shifts in tone, timbre, and tempo. If there was a simple
way to summarize The Deal, it’s that it’s an incredibly smart and emotionally sophisticated record, which
may initially appear as a single minded brutish assault. SUMAC is not suited for cursory listening.

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