Deniz Cuylan Returns with Extra Brightly Coloured Cinematic Abstractions on ‘Rings of Juniper’

For years, Istanbul-born, L.A.–based mostly Deniz Cuylan has labored as a author, dialogue editor, sound designer, Foley artist, and composer for movie and tv. The scores, together with one about drug kingpin El Chapo and one other a couple of girl being hunted by her household, pack loads of jittery excessive drama—and set an unlikely stage for his 2021 debut album, No Such Factor as Free Will, a group of evocative, atmospheric pastorals that painted footage of Japanese sizzling springs and the “Purple Plains of Utopia.” 


Deniz Cuylan, Rings of Juniper album cover
Deniz Cuylan, Rings of Juniper (Hush Hush)

Two years later, he’s again with much more brightly coloured abstractions. The soundscapes on Rings of Juniper are more and more complicated, their palettes extra diversified, their themes extra bold. The title observe begins with a cascade of notes from Cuylan’s 2011 Thomas Norwood Santos nylon-string guitar, clear and resonant as a harp, with the quiet hum of orchestral strings rising within the background earlier than fading into silence. That’s when the sequence begins yet again, and every time it does, the guitar grows extra out of sync with Greg Chudzik’s bass, blurring within the twists of clarinet and piano, and gaining energy till it resolves itself right into a quiet, non permanent repose.

Every of Juniper’s eight compositions is simply pretty much as good, and the entire thing smacks of Steve Reich, whose Pulse/Quartet (2018) is certainly one of Chudzik’s recorded highlights and whose affect helps these items leap past No Such Factor. With mixing by Seth Manchester and mastering by Heba Kadry, Cuylan’s guitar takes its place on the middle of this richly imagined, dynamic universe, enjoying with the heat of a chamber quartet one second and the monumentality of a full orchestra the following. Astonishing!