Best visited as one continuous piece of music, the album is sometimes hypnotic, sometimes jarring and sometimes truly beautiful. Undoubtedly some of the best "ambient" music I've heard in a long time.
Favorite track: Broken Pipes.
The catalogue of Vancouver's prolific 1080p imprint is studded with outré house and screwball techno gems but "Gowanus Drifts" is something else entirely; a suite of blasted, meta-ambient soundscapes so ravishingly grotesque I had to check their provenance was earthly and not Venusian. Dialect weaves reverberant synth drones, plangent strings (there's a zither in here somewhere) and a plethora of strange field recordings into a hugely affecting sonic tapestry that sounds like nothing else I've heard all year. Open your ears and wonder.
Favorite track: Glass Drift.
“Ikea stores next to huge burnt out shipping warehouses, squats next to Whole Foods, Artisan flower shops with dead dogs outside. Litter on the breeze and foghorns blowing across the water. Sirens, porn stores, storage, prisons, dogs barking, carparks, fast food, highways, burnt out massage parlors, old tires, wire fences, empty buildings, bus depots, raw sewage flowing. “
Such is the bewildered ecstasy of abstracter Dialect (aka Andrew PM Hunt), who continues the “online mix”-like concept of his previous Tasty Morsels-released "Advanced Myth" with a darker but richer journey in ambience, texture, moods and grotesque beauty.
Recorded near Red Hook in Brooklyn, Dialect became fascinated by the post-industrial landscape of the shipyards that reminded him of home in Liverpool. Gowanus in particular seemed distinctly American, yet in stark contrast to the iconic Wall St skyline which stood opposite on the other side of the East River. Gowanus was decrepit and decayed with razorwire tumbleweed blowing across cracked sidewalks erupting with weeds and dirt, empty billboards and huge elevated bridges looming overhead.
It’s incredibly easy to hear these images in “Gowanus Drifts”, a 40-minute snapshot that exists within a drone continuum that for Hunt started with the psychedelic explorations of Gong, Cluster and Tangerine Dream (as well as a more formal strand of psychedelia made by minimalists such as Steve Reich and David Borden) but now extends into deep network music movements in online culture like ASMR, unboxing videos and Xbox gameplay recordings.
Dialect treats his zither improvisations, field recordings and saxophone compositions in a sculptural way, deconstructing and reassembling them around each other with a loose fluidity. Angelic vocal presets rise from Dialect’s distinct, scorched FM synths as half-remembered Reichian loops drift in across the water, floating on a smoggy breeze.