Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Danseizure-- This is Danseizure

At once energetic, ambient, and brimming with both field recordings and original sounds, the appeal of Danseizure's LP "This is Danseizure" lies in his ability to grasp the ephemeral, detailed mystery of countless moments, all in the span of ten tracks. 

Opening with a riotous cacophony of birds over a stunningly euphonic drone, first track "Naturlike" emanates from a deeply rustic and calamitous but calming place, and there's a fecund, joyous simplicity in the shimmery tones that dapple above the woody percussion. 

Track two, "Satellite Dish Crumbling Wall" shares some common threads with the first track, but tackles a far different soundscape. Turbulent, resonant, and restive, the piece relies on a rolling beat, a clipped, boxy bass, and simmering little high notes that soundtrack the juxtaposition and uncomfortableness of the urban experience. 

Third track "Blue Sunshine" veers away from its more pensive predecessors and boasts a danceable, clubby beat. Peppery handclaps and a winsome synth pulse with a bold fluidity. By adding forested textures upon textures, the track manages to make a listener feel at once relaxed and energized. 

"Who put your nose out of joint" dives into a soundscape much darker than previously explored on the album, using distorted field recordings and a deep, spine-tingling drone. A pinched synth provides an uncomfortably high contrast against the deep bass, and a militant beat further moves listeners out of their auditory complacency and into a prison-like hollow. Despite the darkness, there's a forbidden-fruit sort of temptation in the drone, an ungraspable aural thread that permeates the beat and ends with a whimper.

"Holes in Walls" is much less heavy-hearted than "Nose out of joint". It shifts into a more mechanized world that's full of brassy synths and queasy little counter-melodies working through scattered electronic blips.

"No ideas but in things (feat. Ryan Van Winkle)" blasts into being, with destructive buzzing transforming into deep organ distortion. Ryan Van Winkle's superb, smoothly spoken word poem feels right at home in this dark din that fades back into distorted nothingness.

Seventh track, "Take what you want" is a completely shameless homage to the insipidity of prayer hotlines. At once viciously amusing and sad, the track captures the desperate hopes of the misguided, and the following track "Out" explores a similar loneliness, albeit through a single, simple piano. Its melancholy theme and meandering melody are at once evocative and ever-so familiar.

Ninth track "Berlin" opens with an off-kilter percussion. Light electronic piano patters like rain over the drumbeat. Distorted conversation filters through in the background, creating an open, disjointed impression, and electronic bass hums like thunder and fades out like a passing storm.

Final track "The world is a sad sad place" offers a sorrowful melody and counterpoint borne by twin synths lacing one another. However, the driving beat seems to criticize the anguish, encouraging action and engagement with the world instead of helplessness. It's a fitting end to an album that wanders through joy and suffering with equal courage.

All in all: it seems that Danseizure is able to find inspiration in just about anything, and his depth of understanding shines through in his sincere, meaningful LP. Each track is an evocative representation of a place or an idea, and his field recordings, original sounds and borrowed words augment his ideas. Some tracks are pop-tart worthy, while others are dark, deep explorations of places few others would dare to go.

Available at Invisible Agent (a net label full of very talented people), free to listen on-site and available for digital download, $9.90.

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