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CD Feature/ Detritus: "Fractured"

img  Tobias

Having to disagree with an artist does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. When we last spoke to Dave Dando-Moore after the release of his “Thresholds” EP, he labelled the material for his upcoming new full-length as “pretty depressing”. Now it has been published, many will concur. And yet, underneath its sinisterly shimmering surface, a new and highly promising force has begun to stirr.

It goes without saying, of course, that “Fractured” is not exactly a happy work. Piano melodies are again spiralling down a snail-shell-shaped staircase into the void and  electronic string quartets are caught in loops of minuscule development, offering no resolution. More than on previous efforts, Dando-Moore is also flexing his muscle, adding edgey powerchord riffs to the arrangements and turning “Collide” or “Diolch” into wordless metal monsters.

While this classifies “Fractured” as an aggressive and angry work, it remarkably enough never results in complete hopelessness. Something has happend in the meanderings of the most excusitely detailed drum n bass beats ever created by someone who hardly ever listens to drum n bass, an optimistic flame has sparked from the positive pads that float through multilayered tracks like “Shifts”. After one has chewed one’s way through the creaking and groaning wall of sharp-edged percussion, the breakneck loops and the pervasive sadness, a golden and lustrous core is slowly appearing that is truly unique.

The conclusion is quite simple: While Dandy-Moore may still be using his music as a form of self-therapy, he has aquired a mastery of his tools which enables him to sublimate this fury and frenzy into pure energy. His arrangements have become richer, his dynamics more subtle, his sound more ecclectic and his vocabulary more concilliatory. Who, among the listeners of that wild beast “Thresholds”, would have expected a tender instrumental love song like “Lethe” from this man?

Remixes by 5-HTP, DJ Hidden (an incredible stab at Ambient Drum n Bass) and Keef Baker, as much as they may differ from the rest of the material, are not out of place one bit in this colourful tour de force. Thus, even though it is certainly a logical progression in the Detritus discography, “Fractured” may also be considered the beginning of a new phase, whose exact destination probably remains undisclosed even to David Dandy-Moore. 

“Very, very happy with the final product.”, David posted on his blog with regards to the album. There’s nothing to disagree about there.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Detritus
Homepage: Ad Noiseam Records

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