A Wake A Week: Abandon
List Records

Dave Dando-Moore, perhaps best known for his Detritus output, received deservedly strong notices for his 2009 release on Spectraliquid, Little Black Cloud , which he issued under the A Wake A Week alias. Generally speaking, the material issued under the new guise is close in spirit to the dark ambient style associated with Miasmah's Deaf Center—even the EP title, Abdandon, hints at the material's despairing character. Dando-Moore shapes field recordings, samples, and various instruments into intense set-pieces of relatively modest duration (the thought of any one of the three pieces being recast as a twenty-minute epic exerts an undeniable if perverse allure).

In “The Very Idea,” a sparse scattering of sombre piano notes pierces the collective fog of an industrial drone, cloud turbulence, and an indecipherable voice drifting across the electric wires; the grief-stricken ambiance is suggestive of a suicidal figure wading into the sea while car drivers cruise past, blithely indifferent to the tragedy unfolding mere feet away. A nightmarish, droning homunculus of churning machine noise and muffled voices, “Abandon” keeps up a controlled wail for six minutes, until a few gasps of violin playing can be heard breaking through at track's end. In “Perigee,” a cauldron of organ and strings brings ear-piercing pitches and combustion to a broil in the EP's most claustrophobic setting, the stuff of which the darkest nightmares are made. It's bleak stuff for sure but it's also powerful, and anyone with a jones for atmospheric soundsculpting should investigate further.

April 2010