(Mystery Sea)

As it happens in projects dealing with dark ambient and esoteric galaxies, a single human entity is the mover of the big machine. In the case of DLSODW, his name is Thomas Ekelund, hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden. Cold Meat Industry, anybody? That could be the question for many after hearing the obsessive, repetitive, really “industrial” chug’n’clatter of the first track, sustained by drones whose power grows with any successive frame. This is anticipated – or complemented – by a series of environmental sounds that Ekelund recorded walking around the city; the same occurs in the remaining tracks. This alternance between something that feels natural (even if we hear cars, they do sound “natural” nowadays, don’t they?) and the threat of cancerous growth by those mesmerizing lows is the winning feature of the album. In various instances, listeners receive notice of under-skin heartbeats amidst the damp, cloudy masses characterizing the general imagery, like a body whose life is slowly yet steadily fading away, the flesh consumed by acrid gaseous matters. Then again: noise of shoes on the terrain, electrostatics, maybe shortwave radios. Is all this any different from hundreds of similar albums in this genre? In part, yes. For starters, the overall architecture is more developed than the norm, showing no trace of that dilettantism-drenched presumptuousness that brings pseudo-artists to slap whatever lies behind a pitch-transposed bass note on CD and declare “I’m an alternative composer”. This music is characterized instead by a positively cinematic quality and a fresh attitude, transmitting good energy in lieu of the customary head-scratching perplexity. And the electroacoustic obscurity defining “At Keiller’s Park (Fall 2007)” is downright gorgeous. Translation: a must for the fanatics of these atmospheres – and if I myself deem it an interesting release, knowing how little love is left in my heart for the genre, you do the maths. Headphones recommended.

Advertisements