Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Dusted Lux - Attic Visions (Kimberly Dawn, 2011)

The words "dusted" and "attic" seem to be the major indications of what this beautifully packaged 3" CD-R from Kimberly Dawn sounds like. At mere 20 minutes, the two tracks pack more emotional impact than most cassettes or CD-R's manage in 30, 40, or even 60 minutes. It is a beautiful, melancholic journey through memories and feelings falling apart and distorted, yet still vivid and strong.
Forget the retro-futuristic, analog synth sound. There are almost no electronics to be found here. Although the sound is heavily processed and modified after the recording, the main components are the distortions and interruptions gradually growing on the main theme, looped into oblivion. Such is the case on the first track, "Through Old Growth". An almost ridiculously simple, oneiric piano loop is laid with crackling field recordings, which give the impression of imitating a vinyl record. The piano loop is soon buried under the plodding, glacial electric guitar feedback – but it’s never buried entirely – the single notes can still be heard from the dead amplifier noise. The piano loop soon regains consciousness as the electric noise dies out. And the listener witnesses the most beautiful (or beatific?) part – the wonderful interplay of distant, daydreaming piano loop and acoustic, peace-of-mind guitar impressions.
Track two, “The One You Love” is way more abstract. It’s hard to find traces of melody here, the whole thing feels more like an electric guitar/field recordings electroacoustic experiment with looping, repeating patterns folding and “attacking” (quotation marks, because the changing structures are too lethargic and calm to be considered actual attacks) one another in the great minimalist manner. Scraps of guitar melody try to make their way through hiss and subtle distortion, but are soon swallowed back into the mechanized skeleton of the track.
I think the EP has been described best in the short blurb from the label itself, which called the work of Dusted Lux “an unraveling tapestry of crumbling textures and far away sounds”. The textural reference is more apt than ever – the sound is deeply textural, full of interesting factures, and, above all, fascinating and beautiful. Like Sean McCann at his most personal without the weird electronic intrusions.

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