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"It is, after all, the solar system: an Interview with Aydin"

...Aydin sounds like the climax of most bands' songs the entire song. Although this is an exaggeration, a lot of the songs on "Space Affects the Spectator" just burst with sunshine joy the whole time and are extraordinarily feel good... "Half-Gramme Holiday" is my favorite song, as if the whole orbit of our solar system were falling apart, out of gravity's pull, and yet, it all comes together... Tracks like "Strange Attractor" are kind of like jamming, but one wouldn't confuse it with hippie jam bands or jazz. - Cock-Now Zine, Ben Malkin

""Space Affects the Spectator" Review"

Pittsburgh's Aydin (pronounced "Eye-din") are a space-rock group that should appeal to both shoegaze fans and fans of modern psychedelia. What Aydin have that separates them from the throngs of bands playing this type of music is an interesting instrumental lineup: One of the groups' three members, Mark Russell, is an accordion player; and there is no bass player (though they reportedly auditioned many when the band first came together). Despite the odd choice of instrumentation - especially for a group with only three members - the accordion doesn't stand out in an irritating way as one might expect, thanks to effects pedals which make it sound more like a melodica, or a droney keyboard. As for Aydin's songs, they're expansive slabs of psychedelic overload that incorporate some shoegazing elements ("Little Galaxy"), possibly jazz-inspired drums, and lots of crazed dissonant guitar noise ("Half-Gramme Holiday") into the mix for a sound that I'm sure narcotically-inclined listeners will flock to. What I like most about the album is the more memorable moments of poppier song-writing like the tempo-shifting "Warm Up", or the sing-song "Walking Into Windows", which stand out above the haze. More moments like these would make Aydin a force to reckon with. Still, I like what I hear.

"Aydin - Things Are Looking Down"

...None of which explains why the third instrument in the band is Russell’s accordion. No, the Aydin members aren’t fans of They Might Be Giants, and they don’t play polkas. But the inclusion of accordion is unique for a group known for various stripes of shoegaze and space rock.

“It’s what I was playing at the time,” explains Russell. “I think what really made [the accordion] work was the drone. You have the ability to create all kinds of drones and atmospheric noises.”

These effects are highly in evidence on Aydin’s debut CD, Space Affects the Spectator, where a track such as “Little Galaxy” displays the shimmery, breathy pop of Galaxie 500, while “Airbomb” has the layered, gauzy feel of Windy & Carl. Lacking a bassist -- the group tried out several, but none were very keen on showing up to practices -- Aydin retains little of the low-end grooves propelling the music of its British forebears, and so much of the music is a dense mesh of trebly melody and distortion, while Brooks’ breathy, light vocals emanate from behind the kit with the hands-free help of a headset mike.

Reflecting a couple years’ worth of composition, the tracks on Space bounce around thematically. Some, including “Warm Up” are more straightforward pop, while others, such as “Lando” (with lyrics about the beloved Star Wars character), take improvisational twists and meandering turns.

In that sense, Aydin might have some things loosely in common with the wide-open structures of jam rock, though you probably won’t find it at any hippie festivals. Once the band starts hitting the road, you’re most likely to see it hooked up with like-minded space-rock groups in other cities, courtesy of the miracle of Internet contacts. - Pittsburgh City Paper - by Manny Theiner

"Pittsburgh Calling: 11/17/05"

Sound: Post-shoegazer psychedelic rock with elements of prog, this indie power trio features lead accordion, plenty of E-bow and no bassist.

The album: "Space Affects the Spectator" could get a lot of mileage out that accordion. And it probably will. But once the novelty wears off, the music has no trouble standing on its own, an atmospheric wall of sound the band itself describes as "what is thought about while driving 80 mph on the highway with the windows down and the sun warming your body." Either way, you won't confuse it for a Weird Al record.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - by Ed Masley

"The Long Run of Small Steps"

“I think cassettes are an important media that too often gets overlooked in the age of cd-burners … ” writes Mike “Q” Roth, in a short essay included with The Long Run of Small Steps, the newest compilation of local punk and DIY-style bands to be released by Hard Travelin’, Roth’s Pittsburgh-based label. “A mixtape takes a bit more planning and you actually have to sit down and actively record it. You don’t want to leave too much blank space at the end of a side, but you don’t want to cut off a song either. A well-crafted mixtape is a work of art.”

True enough, although The Long Run, as Roth is quick to qualify, isn’t exactly a mixtape. Instead, it’s a smartly edited and beautifully packaged product: Eleven songs by 11 separate Pittsburgh-area punk bands, all captured on a medium that has nearly been forgotten in today’s era of iPods and digital downloading. And instead of a slickly printed color cover stuffed inside a plastic case, The Long Run comes complete in a small cardboard box with a hand-silkscreened top. There’s also an accompanying booklet, and even a small square of cotton on which the cassette rests.

Much of the comp’s music, too, is a surprise: Sequoia’s rollicking “Tyranny of Round,” with its wonderfully placed time change, and its math rock- and Gravity Records-influences, may be the project’s best. Yet songs by Allies, Aydin and A is A are equally intense; as with all of The Long Run (excepting Vale and Year’s kitschy electronic number and River Is to Train’s contemplative slow-burner), they’re expectedly fast, hard and loud, but with clever undercurrents of vitriolic anger. And in a near-perfect burst of passion, the tape’s penultimate number, an unnamed track by Fuckedupmess, seems to encapsulate The Long Run’s disparate feelings of malaise and hope in one long, indecipherable shriek.

“This tape is my little gift to you,” writes Roth, at the conclusion of his essay. “A reminder to take small steps and keep your eye on the horizon.” - Pittsburgh City Paper - by Dan Eldridge


2006 - Hardtravelin' 2006: The Year in (Missing) Seven Inches
This is a CD compilation of a 7" worth of material from each of three bands: Aydin, Flotilla Way and Fuckedupmess.

2005 LP - Space Affects the Spectator
In rotation: WPTS, WRCT, WYEP, Pittsburgh Net Radio (KPNR)
Currently "Airbomb" is #2 in KPNR's Local Top Ten
Featured on local shows: WXDX, WYEP
Streaming on: MySpace, LastFM, Loveless Music Group

Song "Power Lines" on Long Run of Small Steps tape compilation by Hardtravelin' Records, 2005



Aydin is a rare group in that we meld classic shoegaze influences with elements such as psych, punk, jazz and even prog to take the sound further, rather than merely rehashing it. We have strong-yet-wavering, clear-then-crunchy guitar, but we also have inventive, nimble drumming, and accordion - yes, accordion - producing sounds ranging from light harmony to feedback-heavy, squalling drone. Together we make some poppish radio-friendly tunes, some odd-metered, introspective melodies, and some noisy improv jams, sometimes together in one song. It’s a sound that is familiar on the surface but more unusual and engaging the further one sinks in.

We are a band formed from lucky coincidences: Shannon and Mark both come from Toledo, Ohio, and were drawn to many of the same seminal shows in Detroit such as My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver while there, but didn’t meet until moving to Pittsburgh. Once there they started a recording project based on their shared influences, unhindered by the fact that Mark’s instrument of choice was the accordion, not a typical vehicle of space rock expression. Karen was about to quit her job managing a Pittsburgh bike shop when Shannon was hired there, and was about to sell her unused drum set until his passionate talk of music creation convinced her to join him and Mark in their fledgling pursuit.

Aydin has been shaped by genre-crossing pairings within the ever-blossoming Pittsburgh punk scene. The Mr. Roboto Project, Pittsburgh’s cooperatively-run home to the punk community, hosted many of our early shows; in 2004 we were part of the annual ADD Fest Roboto Birthday Show, and in 2005 Aydin contributed a song for The Long Run of Small Steps comp put out by Roboto related label Hardtravelin’. These collaborations have provided invaluable examples of the DIY ethos at work.

Of course we have roots as well in space rock and shoegaze; we’ve played with national acts such as Windy and Carl, SubArachnoid Space, Kinski, Bardo Pond, and Victory at Sea, and we’ve hosted Dayton classic shoegazers Lab Partners and Detroit heavy droners Paik at Pittsburgh shows.

We’ve also dealt with our fair share of adversity: Shannon was hit by a car while commuting by bike in early 2004, broke his wrist (among other injuries) and had to take several months to heal and relearn to play, all while in the midst of recording our first CD. Karen injured her leg in a mountain bike crash in the fall of 2005, three weeks before the release show for the same CD, and had to learn the songs with her left foot handling both bass drum and hi-hat.

Now we’re all healed up and armed with a recording that we think captures the intensity and beauty of our sound. The CD, Space Affects the Spectator, received good reviews from the local weekly Pittsburgh City Paper and from the daily Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s getting airplay on local college stations, Live365, and major market stations. We aim to venture out to other cities and win over new fans as fervent as the ones we have here.