1. The 15
2. The 7
3. Base Phive Futur-Cossacks
4. Spiritus Intelligentiae:Jophiel
Ishraqiyun has been characterized as the “neo-Pythagorean electro-folk” side of Secret Chiefs 3, and followers of the band’s live shows in the last decade will recognize it as the most familiar and dominant aspect of the band. For many years, the Ishraqiyun repertoire of mysterious, catchy, original tunes—composed in ratio-based rhythms for non-Western tunings and instruments (saz, sarangi, esraj, etc.)—has been blasted out at inordinately high volume to many adventurous ears. Now, after persistently touring and playing this music in more than 40 countries during the last few years, Secret Chiefs 3 unveil the first proper set of studio recordings of Ishraqiyun material. As a bonus, they have included a healthy dose of new, previously unheard tunes (actually half the album). The diverse musicians on Perichoresis are drawn from several configurations of the band over the years and include Eyvind Kang (viola), Ches Smith (drums, percussion), Rich Doucette (sarangi, esraj), Peijman Kouretchian (drums), Mike Dillon (tabla), Shahzad Ismaily (bass), Timba Harris (violin), Jai Young Kim (keyboards) and many more, all led by composer / producer / bandleader / multi-intrumentalist Trey Spruance. Though concert-goers will welcome definitive editions of some of their favorite live songs, none of what is presented on Perichoresis has ever appeared on any previous Secret Chiefs 3 album. Never content to rest on the familiar, SC3 pushes Ishraqiyun into uncharted terrain, stretching the envelope most particularly on the mega-opus title track “Perichoresis.” This is the first recorded composition to introduce Spruance’s evolving system of musical ideas patterned upon the specific geometrical relationships found in certain polyhedra and the tesselating patterns from which they are derived. These kinds of techniques could result in lifeless and cerebral art, but Spruance’s approach is more akin to martial arts than nerd rock. It’s not about “math,” it’s all about being moved (or moving with) the mysterious power of forgotten fundamentals. It’s music for the antiquarian and barbarian alike, and the cacophonous banquet halls up there on the modernist Olympus are about to be pelted with this golden apple.