Dandi Wind’s new album Yolk of the Golden Egg is a sonic journey that challenges every spectrum of electronica. Caught somewhere between a surreal utopic musical vision, and something that could only have been spawned from a ritualistic love orgy between Kate Bush, Bjork and Aphex Twin’s Richard D. James, the record shows no weaknesses. It opens with “The Battle of Verdun,” aptly catching the industrial bustle of its Quebec recording locale, and moves through what seems like a futuristic, cacophonic scene of torture. Raw, edgy and highly textured, the sounds take detours through the complexity of the psyche in a way that could be likened to the spiritual despair and disillusionment of Trent Reznor, but with more emphasis on a clear articulation of ugliness. Never failing to surprise, the song “Johatsu” sounds like a cracked-out late 80’s dance exercise tape, while suggesting the theme that would should all “surrender to the machine.” The album climaxes with the final track entitled “Dance of the Paralytic,” whose bass-rich beat is juxtaposed against an ineffable wet thumping noise that brings amniotic fluid to mind. While overtly corporeal, the album points at an introspective notion in quoting Dostoevsky and the parable of the old dreamer rummaging through his dreams in vain. While its message is not always accessible, Yolk of the Golden Egg is a worthwhile musical venture for those who want something a little more violent in spirit.
E.S.L’s debut album Eye Contact is a fantastical, muscial-theatrical type hybrid that seems to bridge together the innocence of black and white films with modern day anxieties.
The album opens with a rhythmically-driven track which is backed up by earthy cellos chanting in a catchy gusto melody. Following this sound, the album takes a more soulful, heartfelt turn at “Side by Side” where singer Marta Jacubek-McKeever’s vocal ache resonates alongside the melancholic violin arrangement. However, this album possesses more than just a simple juxtaposition between innocence and heartache, as it ventures into musical dramas and swing melodies. Duffy Driediger of Ladyhawk samples his lyrical talent in “Like a Hurricane,” giving the album a sweet touch of masculinity amongst a plethora of lush strings. Marta indulges her Polish ancestry with “Czarne Oczy,” creating a campy, foreign-like sound that makes you want to dance around a campfire and howl at the moon. Still not random enough? The quartet completes the album with all-girl cover of Beastie Boy’s classic song “Girls.” This fact alone should inspire immediate respect for the Vancouver group.
Retrospectively, Eye Contact seems like the kind of albumv that would have existed if transcendental musicians Bjork and Elsiane combined with the 90’s swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers would have sounded like, but in a black and white film from the 30’s.
the personal blog of Miné Salkin, multimedia journalist