Monster of the Absolute
While it might be a little premature to say Paik's finally come back from space rock exploration and landed for good, Monster of the Absolute has them firmly ensconced in Earth's atmosphere. The infinity drones are still there, as on "Phantoms," but they're overlaid with constructed riffs and a driving rhythm section. The sublime "Snake Face" goes the sticky-sweet route embodying everything good about shoegaze's emotionally rich guitar textures. It's like listening to a Jesus & Mary Chain record with the vocals removed. The title track shifts slow-moving dynamics around alternating time signatures like one of the malignant, amorphous elder gods it's named after. "Contessa" is the album's most traditional Paik track as well as its most unexpected. Building drones from horns and keyboards, it's like one continuous thread for a a shuffling drum beat and low-key bass line to provide a tempo. Thoroughly organic and terrestrial, it feels like the perfect note to end on after the preceding descent. Interesting then that "Outro" with its backward guitar loops has such a vertiginous, star-scanning feel to it, priming us for the ascension next time around.