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Sumac: The recursive exercises of total chaos

SUMAC, the ear-shattering powerhouse trio of Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer), Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists), and Brian Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes), have signed to Thrill Jockey and will release their second album, the follow up to 2015’s The Deal, later this year. The trio invests in the recursive exercises of total chaos and control, and the results are a testament to the tour-honed collective intuition and technical skills of Turner, Yacyshyn, and Cook.

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 nu- anced 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.