On his third solo album, Arrington de Dionyso leaves no doubt that he has a singular calling as a mad architect and curator of human-made noise. As frontman of Old Time Relijun, Dionyso honed American folk and revival music to the hardest, darkest, noisiest extremes. Now he tunes his ears to the east, weaving American blues together with some of Asia's strangest musical traditions to produce fabulous noise sculptures. Rhythms of Indonesian gamelan are run through Buddhist chants or Tuvan throat singing or are bombarded with saxophones last heard playing in U.S. noise bands like Pussy Galore.
Dionyso sings in Indonesian, which I can't understand, so I am inclined to listen to the tone of his voice. He obliges me by singing, speaking or growling the unknown words with an excess of diabolical emotion. A few tracks are genuine songs, some are jazzy soundscapes, but most I can only call performances: strange and compelling mixtures of eerie music and mysterious monologues.
Listening to Malaikat dan Singa is like stepping into the middle of a wild and exotic but not unfamiliar festival being celebrated halfway across the world from wherever you are now. If you can stand the noise, enjoy the madness.
Arrington de Dionyso plays the Palace Tuesday, June 8, at 9 PM with Rooftop Vigilantes and Streetlight People. $5.