Rhyton: Kykeon

‘A flying saucer attack on an ancient city’, you say? We’re in!

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Brooklyn trio Rhyton are on an unpredictable but frequently transcendental mission to link ancient musical forms with the future through rock-based improvisations.

The band comprises guitar/bouzouki-wielding David Shuford (D. Charles Speer of No Neck Blues Band), Stygian Stride bassist/organist Jimy SeiTang and Pigeons drummer Rob Smith. They airlift scales from Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Greek traditions into their three-headed excursions. The nearest reference points might be The Doors at their improvisational wildest, multi-ethnic US psych pioneers Kaleidoscope or even 70s UK explorers like Van der Graaf and East Of Eden. Kykeon starts with a flying saucer attack on an ancient city in Siren In Byblos – this clearly isn’t any normal rock album. The squalling guitar flights on California Black Box Vapors, snaking organ on Pannychis or Smith’s rolling drum patterns might provide earthly reference points, but when these three get going, their astral flights can end up anywhere, carrying on the ethos of collective spontaneous combustion that goes back to ancient trance rituals, as well as the Fillmore West and New York underground.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!