A Wake A Week: Little Black Cloud

The release of Little Black Cloud finds Dave Dando-Moore (aka Detritus) inaugurating a new alias, A Wake A Week, that might be regarded as his personalized take on the “dark ambient” genre; certainly it's easy to imagine a triple bill featuring A Wake A Week sharing the concert stage with Deaf Center and Svarte Greiner. The ultra-textured Little Black Cloud smothers its neo-classical piano and melodramatic string themes in the fiery crackle of a dying fire and the drizzle of non-stop rain, resulting in oppressive atmospheres of spectral gloom and dread. Like corroded material rescued from the bottom of a long-forgotten attic chest, decaying piano and brooding string themes swim through suffocating layers of dust in the title piece. “I'm Always Writing Endings” buries the piano even further under an oppressive mass, with dramatic orchestral flourishes robust enough to stand forth loudly, while the merciless tattoo of a timpani drum signals the death march for some unfortunate soul in “Beginnings and Endings.” The material isn't entirely bereft of hope: “Leaves” offers a rare moment of uplift as, the storm having passed, the minimal piano theme and sweetly singing strings bask in the seaside air like survivors of a now-past catastrophe. Anxiety, however, is never far from the seemingly becalmed surface. “A Wake A Week” ends the album on a suitably grandiose note, with monstrous exhalations wheezing alongside mournful strings, disembodied voices, and distant rumble in rain-soaked, post-apocalyptic ruins. Little Black Cloud is a more-than-credible addition to the dark ambient genre, and so close is it in spirit to previously-issued recordings in the field one could easily mistake A Wake A Week for Deaf Center, for example, when tremolo guitars twang amidst murmuring voices and chain rattling during the doom-laden “One Take Away One.”

May 2009