Some artists require a certain measure of distance to thrive. That’s the case for Ukraine’s Ganna Bryzhata, aka Bryozone. She’s best known as the bassist of Chillera, a trio of dub aficionados who developed a gently psychedelic style of space rock in their adopted hometown of Odesa, a port city on the Black Sea. The three once considered moving to Kyiv but ultimately decided that life in the capital wasn’t for them: “It’s great to come for a while, to feel the active movement, but it sucks up the energy,” they told an interviewer in 2019. “You need to be more self-organized to live there. We are still not able to bring this chaos to order.” You can hear that refusal to adapt to the rhythms of the big city in their instrumentals, in which Afrobeat basslines and surf licks churn as blithely as the tide, unconcerned with anything beyond maintaining the breezy vibe.
A similar sense of willful isolation characterizes Bryozone. Bryzhata’s solo music is a world away from Chillera’s, trading their warm blues riffs and wah-wah twang for ethereal loops and icy, atonal drones. But both projects share a timeless quality. Chillera’s records sound like they’ve spent decades gathering mold in some beachside community thrift store; Bryozone’s output might conceivably have been rescued from the flooded basement of a mid-century tape-music studio. Perhaps even more than Chillera, Bryozone is bubble music, promising an insular journey into inner space.
Bryozone’s music has changed considerably since her first two EPs, 2013’s ACID FROG DAY and Ifrit. Where those records remained tethered to familiar strains of lo-fi techno and ambient dub, Eye of Delirious, her debut LP, leaves such recognizable terrain in the rear-view mirror. Across 10 varied tracks, Bryzhata explores a series of mysterious, shape-shifting visions that feel conjured out of thin air—not so much the products of silicon and circuits as the phantasmal afterimages of lysergic dreams.
The sea’s rhythms hold sway over the opening tracks. “Smoothly Flow” channels tidal rhythms into a swirl of watery synths and foghorn drones—loops upon loops upon loops, submerged in a thick, grainy paste of tape hiss. It’s eerie and emotionally blank, equally conducive to beatific calm and deep melancholy. “Sub Nautica” pairs a plodding 4/4 pulse and muted dub bass with rolling waves of synth; the influence of dub—a music of ocean currents and cultural exchange—speaks, perhaps, to Odesa’s historic identity as a mercantile city. “Ghost Tribe” and “Liminal Tribe” spin hand percussion through eerie tape effects, turning pitter-pat rhythms into insect chirps and alien soundscapes; they evoke the work of Jan Jelinek, Andrew Pekler, and Muscut label head Nikolaienko, who similarly have reexamined vintage ethnographic phonography through an experimental electroacoustic lens.
Some of these tracks aren’t “songs” at all—more like tricks of the light captured on foggy deadstock film. “Sequence One” arrays dissonant chirps and chimes into slippery arpeggios, somewhere between a circus carousel and a flickering asphalt mirage; “Glowing Sirens” and “Ambiency,” imbued with the otherworldly timbres of Sarah Davachi’s Vergers, suggest Aeolian harps, or long metal wires strung across a cavernous tunnel. The closing suite ventures furthest into the penumbra. The title track recalls the haunting expanses of Seefeel at their bleakest; “Fateful Torment” and “Ground Floor” are full of clomping footsteps and ominous electrical buzz, steeped in the doleful, otherworldly frequencies of mid-century explorers like Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, Pauline Oliveros, and Else Marie Pade. These are the most difficult pieces on Eye of Delirious, but they might also be the most rewarding. Bryzhata’s coldly keening frequencies luxuriate in their desolate surroundings, making ghostly tendrils of feedback feel sumptuous. Resolute in their isolation, they offer an alluring glimpse of oblivion, a hand-delivered invitation to disappear.