Dylan Bakker: Atrophic Cascades (RR)

 |   |  1 min read

Dylan Bakker: Give and Take
Dylan Bakker: Atrophic Cascades (RR)

Expat Kiwi Dylan Bakker wrote to Elsewhere from his home-base in Berlin recently wondering if we'd like to get a copy of his debut CD.

We did a quick check of his wide and deep website which is chock full of artwork, prints, photography, a list of his numerous exhibitions and music projects and concluded, "Yes please".

The CD duly arrived with hand-written note (in fountain pen, this just gets better) and a few pieces of screenprinted artwork on card.

He says he is doing a concert of the album in Berlin on October 24 to launch it and hopes to come back to New Zealand, but after years away things are falling into place for him over there so . . .

Of the album he says he did it all, from recording the music to designing the cover (the art is by friends and it's a gatefold CD), and it was created in his bedroom. "The good thing about Berlin," he wrote, "is TIME".

He is a member of a collective of artists, performs solo and with Wide Scope Experimental, and makes his own videos, publishes an occasional magazine, sometimes does street art . . .

There is a brief and casual video interview with him here, from a couple of years back.

As to the album, it is sometimes grinding and static noise (dare we say, rather "German industrial") but mostly along the lines of subtle industrial ambient sound in line with the over-arching concept of the world going to hell under a mountain of rubbish, clutter and detritus.

His pal Ralph McClure writing here describes it perfectly as "the easy listening apocalpyse".

Built over guitar figures or searing washes of distorted sound, the eight short pieces are focused.

There is also an arc from the gentle opener Killdozer (which belies its name with artificial bird sound and an almost pastoral feel) through the menacing distortions and the uninterpretable spoken word passages which echo in 7Seven, to the restful Give and Take (gentle guitar figures again with sonic under-painting) and the bruisingly brittle and increasingly oppressive The Undoing (which puts me in mind of Jed Town's sometimes confrontational work along this axis).

The final eight minutes of TomTom are where that apocalypse of 21st century left-over crap starts to tumble down and bury you.

As musician, Bakker clearly thinks like a visual artist on this album, the pieces evoke striking images (see the clip below) and if this is more like an art project than a stand alone album it is actually the stronger for being that.

Can't imagine when he performs it there won't be visuals.

There certainly are in my head.

For more information on Dylan Bakker and his various projects including this album see his website. And there are many more music samples/examples here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Given who these people are -- Conor Oberst aka Bright Eyes, M Ward, and Jim James of My Morning Jacket (aka Yim Yames) -- you might be forgiven for thinking this is some kind of neo-folk meeting on... > Read more

Brian Eno: Drums Between the Bells ((Warp)

Brian Eno: Drums Between the Bells ((Warp)

Brian Eno first encountered the work of poet/spoken word artist Rick Holland more than a decade ago and despite some small attempts to collaborate things didn't come to much. Until now. Here... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PETE SEEGER PROFILED: The conscience of America

PETE SEEGER PROFILED: The conscience of America

When I was growing up and the sound of the Beatles and the Stones was the soundtrack to my life, the folk movement out of the US just seemed quaint and grounded in another era. While artists... > Read more

The Gin Blossoms: Memphis in the meantime

The Gin Blossoms: Memphis in the meantime

Sometimes just getting to a gig can be a mission -- and I don't mean waiting for a cab to get you across town. My cab arrived exactly on time, it was the rest of it which was haywire. Just as... > Read more