"Once you’ve synced with Dixen’s zero-G headspace, there’s little to do to get out of its obsessive maelstrom for the senses."
Though its title may read as an invitation to some grim ride into murky tunnels of sound, Anders Dixen ‘Death Tapes‘ series couldn’t be more deceptive a listen if you were expecting a deluge of rust-gnawed industrial, hissy riffs from hell and flaring noise ack-ack at every corner. If the first instalment indeed delved into further subterranean, darker textures and envelopes, Dixen resurfaces on Øen Records with an uplifting second volume sublimating his craft to a new ethereal apex.
Made to be experienced as a whole rather than broken down for its stand-out parts – that’s the way most albums tend to be appreciated these days, regrettably – the second number in Dixen’s ongoing trilogy creates an enveloping feeling of airiness and soothing serenity over the course of its twelve finely woven units, balancing the scopic width of its sound design with sharp junglistic onslaughts and full-out breaksy moves bound to make a lasting impact both on and off the dance floor.
The remarkable cohesiveness of the album in tone and colour, highlighted by Dixen’s impeccable mastery of tempo and pressure, reinforces the sensation of fluidity to be felt within the tracks themselves. Think Alva Noto meets Bochum Welt meets Photek on a meditative trip. Interspersed with plain atmospheric interludes like ‘Meditation‘ and ‘Knives Out‘ Part 1 and 2, the album addresses even larger spans of imagination on cuts like ‘Language Of Loss‘ – merging hints of jazz with skittish, breaksy drums and vaporous ambient, or the wilder heart-render, ‘Love Them Kill Them‘ – a blurred-out junglistic epic that hurts and heals all at once.
On ‘Empire Crumble‘ and ‘Slow Jamz…‘, Dixen does absolute wonders in morphing the classic dubby skank into a spaced-out, mournful riddim one shall find much enjoyable wiping a tear to. Another interesting slab is ‘Bodies‘ featuring Joel Alter, alias Jor-El, a pared-down hybrid jam, part sluggish wide-screen downtempo, part sturdy rhythmic workout, but 100% body and soul-moving material. A further old-school breaksy roller, more akin in fast-tempo engineering to early Fat Boy Slim than aforementioned references, ‘Inanimate Object‘ pumps up the BPMs again right in time for a last-ditch adrenaline rush, eventually coming with the closer, ‘Eternal Oblivion…‘
Once you’ve synced with Dixen’s zero-G headspace, there’s little to do to get out of its obsessive maelstrom for the senses. Gratifying from start to finish, whilst offering an ever expanding array of sonic minutia for your ears to delve in, ‘Death Tapes Vol.2‘ is a stupendous effort, where each and every element feels brushed with an equal attention to detail, cut to the right dimension and fitted in exactly the right place.
Death Tapes Vol.2 is released via Øen Records on 15th November, pre-order a copy from Bandcamp.
A2. Language Of Loss
A3. Empire Crumble
A4. Slow Jamz 4 The End Of The World
A5. Knives Out pt. 1
A6. No Safe Passage
B1. The Killing Of Culture
B2. Bodies (feat. Joel Alter)
B3. Inanimate Object
B4. Knives Out pt. 2
B5. Love Them Kill Them
B6. Eternal Oblivion (My Girl Loves Breaks)