This release is huge, and in every possible way! Not only is the amount of music on this double-disc set plentiful, this expanded and remastered version of the original also brings together unreleased pieces and complete works from various cassette compilations.
Music for Rituals was recorded between 1988 and 1992 in numerous locations and by (mail or personal) collaborations with several other notable artists (Yasnaïa, Vidna Obmana, and Pier Luigi Andreoni). Besides streaming the album, you can also read many stories about the project in these years, shared by Sandy Nys, the single individual behind Hybryds. So, while playing the recording, you’ll be traveling all around the world, just like one of the audio tapes that make this release whole: hidden in an envelope, played over and over again, dubbed, resampled, reworked and made eternal. You’ll find yourself accompanying Yasnaïa with her voice and cello, or enjoying the sax of Barry Edgar Pilcher, somewhere in the rainy UK. You’re even given the chance to share the time in which Sandy spent working on a video tape rental where he was sampling a speech from Girl Hunter, mixing it with Yasnaïa’s instrumentation.
Music for Rituals is a like a diary, capturing not only history, but a moment in time of somebody’s life. If you can, imagine all the music throughout all those years, fragmented in pieces, carried by hundreds of mailmen, traveling among numberless collaborators, soaked with hundreds of touches and ideas.
One can barely come up with a cohesive and thorough analysis of this album as there’s no good or bad music inside. There’s simply an endless stream of pure and multi-layered music instead, and you’re more or less privileged to have experienced it. If you could only think of all the people who will never have the chance to enter this universe of sound through the epic “A Door of Perception”, or be comforted in the cosmic “The Garden at the Sea”, even if we all know Dark Ages are approaching… Yes, you can keep this mind-game up for hours until you list each and every bit of sound on the album. There is diversity in approach and people here, and one would be quite blind and deaf not to appreciate Music for Rituals. Sometimes the artists utilize ritual drones, sometimes voices, and occasionally they take the approach of traditional percussion and instrumentation. I was wondering whether or not this album should have been re-arranged to follow something of a genre-specific or emotive build-up, but I prefer it like it is: scattered and sparse, just like the world, and perhaps even more.
There are many highlights among the tracks, and there are those that, today, I’d skip playing. However, coming back with time, not everything should be accentuated on, as the only importance is the experience, or more specifically, to live through it. I’d change only one thing about this record — the title shouldn’t be left the same as it’s no longer sufficient. Even if it’s captivating, after two decades, this is not just music for rituals, but more like music that is equal to existence. It is the only means for survival in this usually-too-plain of a world and life we’re meant to endure.
So pick this album, put it on your shelf, and every time you see it gathering dust, just mind one thing: that this is somebody’s life, so take good care of it, as not everybody has been given such a gift.
Disc I: Music for Rituals
01) A Door to Perception
02) The Garden at the Sea
03) Dark Ages
07) Ritual for Quetzal Coatl
08) Le Crie d’Enfer
09) La Voix qui Prononce mon Propre Nom
10) The Man with No Shadow
13) Drifting Moon
15) Ros Caelestis
Disc II: Rarities and Unreleased
01) Crowds of People
04) Soundpainting Part 2
05) Girl Hunter: Dabide No Hoshi: Bishôjo-Gari