Dextro - Consequence Music
Label: 16k Records
Released: Mar 2006
1 Bladder Wrack
3 Destroy The Future Of All Mankind (Guitar [Electric] - David Tobin)
4 Itchy Boy (Bass - Graham Young)
5 Hearts And Minds
6 El Viento
| Boomkat: Currently being given the double thumbs-up from Ulrich Schnauss, Dextro (aka Glasgow resident Ewan Mackenzie) makes the kind of creamy electronics and swirling soundscapes that attract inevitable comparisons to the likes of Boards of Canada and indeed the Schnauss man himself. Given its shape and form through a series of languid beats, 'Consequence Music' is an album that consummately builds on the work of Mackenzie's previous EP's for the likes of Jumblefunk and Border Community, taking a rimy collection of melodies and frosted soundscapes, then pepping them into life through an eclectic flush of cinematic instrumentation that is both poignant and undeniably uplifting. Opening through the charmingly titled 'Bladder Wrack' (the mind truly boggles...), Dextro introduces a fidgeting set of compacted strings that revel in their claustrophobia until the sun bursts through the clouds in an orgasm of shoegaze guitar, double-back beats and analogue creases. Whilst undoubtedly rich, it's what lurks just out of sight that makes Dextro's work appealing - with the shadowy undercurrent providing a satisfying juxtaposition to the top drawer of lush sonics. Moving on, next track 'Atman' is a more overt discourse on the sonic power of decay - with Mackenzie coaxing a delicate piano melody into the destructive path of all manner of electronic squall; it's like a lamb to the slaughter... But in a good way. From here, 'Destroy The Future Of All Mankind' ropes in the help of fellow Snowblood members David Tobin and Graham Young for nine minutes of swooping synths and post-rock shadows, 'Hearts And Minds' wears its Schnauss allegiance with pride, whilst 'Carotenoid' plunders the vaults of Moroder for inspiration. Closing on the genuinely epic 'Rotifer', Dextro has made the kind of album that a stormy sunset sea would make given some studio time and a few gallons of talent. |
Themilkfactory: Dextro’s debut album, Consequence Music, follows a handful of EPs released over the last couple of years on Jumblefunk and Border Community, and proves to be a rather enduring collection of down tempo electronica with a nice personal touch. The solo project of Glasgow-based multi-instrumentist Ewan Mackenzie, Dextro charts a series of impressively crisp and warm psychedelic electronic moments over the course of this album.
Although the press release makes a passing comparison with fellow Scots Boards Of Canada, this actually doesn’t do Mackenzie much favours. Sure, the beats are lethargic, the soundscapes are languorous and the melodies finely crafted, but Dextro’s compositions have something of a perverse streak running through. Behind the soft brushes of analogue synths crawl darker and more disturbing tones and textures. An accomplished drummer and percussionist, who also officiates as part of experimental metal act Snowblood, Mackenzie injects elements of live drums throughout this record, giving his compositions more texture and body. Although he undertakes most of the parts himself, fellow Snowblood members David Tobin (guitar) and Graham Young (bass) lend a helping hand on Destroy The Future Of All Mankind and Itchy Boy respectively. While perfectly incorporated with Mackenzie’s electronic sections, Tobin’s contribution adds to Destroy… wonderful shimmering hue and ripples all the way through pianos and layered vocals.
Working from a rather eclectic, yet consistent, palette, Ewan Mackenzie crafts here a series of delightful evocative and cinematic pieces that appear in turn delicate and intimate or ambitious and colourful. The general mood of the album is however extremely coherent all the way through and denotes great control and maturity. As Consequence Music flies by, it continues to resound as it fades away in the distance when Rotifer gently brings it to a perfect close.
Lunapark6: This album will certainly go into my que of favorite late night listening material. Album is highly recommended and will appeal to a broad array of fans (Sigur Ros, My Bloody Valentine, Mogwai, Boards Of Canada, Four Tet, Nathan Fake). Consequence Music is an amazing electronic album, that sounds immediately compelling and has the deep layer of sounds and unpredictable movements that will keep you coming back for more. Very intelligent music.
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