Thursday, 2 December 2010

Dim Dusk Moving Gloom - Articles of Faith

Artist Dim Dusk Moving Gloom
Year 2010
Label Datahex
Genre Psychedelic Noise, Drone

I'm not overly fond of netlabels. I feel I should get that out of the way. For every great netlabel, and there are a few, there's about one hundred others that put out releases by the likes of RedSK and Breakdancing Ronald Reagan. Netlabels more so than anything else seem to lack quality control, even the major noise net label Smell the Stench has "put out" stuff by some less than favourable "artists". I know explaining a bias doesn't excuse it but hopefully airing that won't allow it to tain this review.

Dim Dusk Moving Gloom is one of many projects of Justin Mark Lloyd, playing a fucked up mix of Psychedelic Noise, Droning sound scapes and the odd harsh element thrown in. He also heads up the Rainbow Bridge label when he's not record with his plethora of projects. This release, Articles of Faith, finds it's home on Datahex records, a relatively recent netlabel. Looking over their releases is a bit of a mixed bag, though not terrible, with the exception of my excessive recoil upon noticing BRR appearing on one of their compilations. I must say in favour of both Dim Dusk Moving Gloom and Datahex that Articles of Faith is doing a lot to redefine how I look at netlabels.

The release opens with an almost R&B flavoured beat, sounding like a distortion of the opening beat to Amazing (Kanye West). Hints of static creeping around the side. Slight stuttering on some of the beats lends a Chopped and Screwed feel to the piece. The beat is soon overtaken by wailing high end and a crunchy, bassy layer of static. Vocals charge headlong into the mix, drenched in reverb and delivered in an almost Power Electronics style.

The next track is a 17 minute droning dirge. Crumbly walls of bass move at a glacial pace with a well integrated use of religious samples. The matter of fact, mildly upbeat samples is juxtaposed with the static and shrieks low in the mix. Both the music and the sample taken on new meaning when put together, meaning that isn't inherent (Not that I want to discuss the potential of Eisenstein's montage theory in relation to music). Soon high end skree pushes into the piece, the sample still going on in the background, fighting for position and breaking through so only a few seconds here and there are audible. The track does begin to overstay it's welcome at around the 14 minute mark, created as it is around the one sample. Also worthy of note is a high end whine noteable at the beginning of the track which is often found when using a computer programme to artificially slow a piece, whether this is the cause or not it is still distracting.

Next up is a short 2 minute number, bassy noise fliterring between channels, panned perfectly. Slowly starting to get lost in oncoming waves of psychedelic static.

Sundowning is a thirty minute piece that begins slowly and creeps it's way up to a static onslaught. Slowly gathering elements as it progresses, the rumble and crumble of bass is especially prevalent in this track (and the release as a whole) but unfortunately seems to ebb away when the white noise begins. This leaves the track feeling hollow, as it's left with nothing but high end for a while. Like thunder the bass suddenly returns to make a blistering cocktail not far removed from some of the less vocal heavy Masonna 7''s. As the assault collapses into itself the sounds of dying electronics rise to the front, the entire tracks sounding like a spaceship entering a meteor storm and just as it manages to get free all electronics die, slowly.

The final track on Articles of Faith is Prosthetic Relief which mixes the bassier noise with a slowly ebbing drone. This track almost functions the same way as the final song on a psy-trance album. More chilled out and relaxing, bringing you back to earth after the trip you've just been dragged on.

Articles of Faith isn't without fault, certain tracks can feel slightly overlong. Besides this the quality is brilliant however, you can tell that every element is well crafted and put together with utmost care. As I mentioned earlier Dim Dusk Moving Gloom and Datahex have managed to make me rethink (certain) netlabels. That's got to be worth something.

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