David Cordero & dot tape dot: Seep

Daniel Romero (aka dot tape dot) and David Cordero deployed some interesting strategies to produce the eight tracks on their collaboration Seep, so titled because sound elements constantly seep into one another on the recording, resulting in ambient-drone moodscapes marked by crystalline melodies. The project took flight when Romero sent approximately 100 loops, generative melodies and computer-generated drones emblematic of dot tape dot's sound character, to Cordero, the idea being that he would work with them as he pleased and imprint upon the material his own identity to complement Romero's.

Consistent with their rather contrasting views about what constitutes ambient music, the two set out to generate material that would be minimal yet multi-layered, marked by clarity but be blurry too, and appear both organically formed and rigorously structured. On pretty much all of these counts their aims were met: the material is minimal but also rich in detail, clearly defined in its melodic elements and comparatively hazy in definition elsewhere, and unfolds in each of the eight cases in convincingly natural manner.

Throughout the thirty-eight-minute set, Romero and Cordero conjure understated micro-sound realms packed with percolating blends of softly sparkling droplets that glimmer alongside hazy synth washes that shimmer and thrum in equal measure. The results are by and large delicate, harmonious, placid, and pretty, so much so that it would impossible to imagine any listener's nerves being frayed by the recording; if anything, Seep soothes, despite the fact that generous contrasts in dynamics arise within the tracks and the activity levels within them remain high.

December 2017