Track Premiere: Skryptor – ‘Raga’

Brooklyn trio Skryptor embody the belligerent swagger of noise rock through a progged-out lens, throwing in some other influences from around the spectrum. Oh, and they do it without words.

That’s a tall order, but fortunately Skryptor are up to the challenge with debut Luminous Volumes. On songs like “Raga,” streaming below, Skryptor’s sharp, atonal riffage bleeds into indulgent stretches of keyboard-driven craziness, giving a sense of barely-controlled chaos.

“The title of the song gives away its backstory,” bassist David McClelland explains of the song’s complex composition. “On Sunday nights I often listen to Raag Aur Taal, an Indian classical music show on WKCR. One night, a piece of music caught my ear and I recorded some of it. I learned the main sitar riff, and it survived both my transcription and losing its microtonality. The bastardized riff I came up with worked well with the Bass VI, so Hank and I kicked it around for a while. When Tim joined up, he was able to suggest a whole field of harmonies that allowed the three of us to develop the riff into a real song. We pushed the harmonic variations as far as we could on guitar, and then scaled them back to a playable level. In terms of its composition, “Raga” might be my favorite tune on Luminous Volumes; the parts all develop organically, and interlock in a satisfying way. We kept the working title, after making sure the song could, at least loosely, be termed a raga, even though any real improvisation only happens in the outro.”

Dig into “Raga” below and grab Luminous Volumes here via Skin Graft, Aqualamb and Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.