Cyrion – Surrounded

Cyrion Surrounded

Crunching drums hammering out of the speakers with a Vangelis-goes-pop synth-line propel us into opening track Tone, a high energy beginning that practically demands some sort of disco-robot type grooving. It’s ebbs and flows are perfectly orchestrated to deliver maximum space-funk-shenanigans, it’s a twinkly Orbital-esque show-opener and it raises the curtain excellently on this record with glittery skill.

Second track Avalanche is a squelchy Mr. Oizo meets Les Rhythmes Digitales type burbling synth wig out with a toe-tapping, snapping drum line and a delicious quacking lead riff. Yet despite these Galic influences it’s a nice surprise to learn that Cyrion are from the wilds of Wales, the brainchild of Rhodri Owen (with Theston Jones joining him on stage for live drumming). Rise continues on a similar track with synths revving like a motorbike over a cartoon-like backdrop of various bleeps and wibbles.

Like Soulwax‘s influential 2ManyDJs projects, Cyrion keeps each track moving swiftly from one to another in an effort to create a party-in-a-can type album that you can just put on and guarantee and consistent flow of danceable and invigorating beats. Certain sounds create a through-line across this 10 track LP, and new motifs are drip fed in as the record progresses holding the attention well.

Bail Out opens with a stirring, shimmering repeating glimmer before turning into an abstract, slightly daffy sounding track, reminscent of a Michael Jackson track being covered by an Amiga computer. It turns into a flurry of space-battle laser sounds over a juddering wall of synth noise before inverting back into the groovy little tune it kicked off with, it practically demands you improvise your own awful dance routine.

Meanwhile Climbing the Walls features some wonderfully old-school comings and goings, whilst Damwain is an erratic feast of ideas, leaping off down any number of tangents from schizoid glitch to ambient, laidback tones. Pulse has a chopping beat that has the apt urgency of an accelerated heartbeat before waves of grumbling synths come in reminiscent of Phat Planet-era Leftfield, stripping things down to a simplified 808 State type softened sparsity, before lolloping back into the crunchy driving grooves of old.

Penultimate track Gofod has a cheeky glint in its eye as it uses protracted pauses to deliver a stammering and reasonably invigorating succession of chirpy sequences. Closing track Count This One brings in Stacey Cohen on lyric writing and vocal duties, she has a soft Beth Orton-like voice that works as a strong contrast to Owen’s hard drums and grinding synths, it’s a welcome diversion from the norm at the album’s close.

Whilst a consistently entertaining record it does have a slightly limited palette of ideas at times, that Owen exploits to its fullest across these ten tracks, but a little variety would be welcomed in future releases to help give the album a little more personality and life when you want more than just something to boogie to.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.