If you haven’t heard of Doug Seidel it’s time to get on board. On his latest release two dimensional version of a four dimensional glance. He makes refreshingly original music that resides on the fringe . The music is experimental and as I pointed out in my first critique has similarities to artists like Jon Cage and The Books. His music really does explore similar musical terrain. More like The Books, there are a lot more melodies than Jon Cage’s catalogue which consisted of sounds onto themselves.
Besides the fact that the music is a pleasure to listen to I enjoy this for a different reason. Now as a sound engineer myself it may be a more esoteric activity but I find enjoyment in the mere conjecture of what is actually happening within the music. Is that a parrot? An oboe? A dial up modem?
The balance between traditional musicality and inspired experimentation is what makes his music work for me. Take for instance the pounding, pulsating beat on “i am getting ready to be eaten” that gets layered with an organic almost flimsy sounding banjo. The song progresses and vocal snippets, bass, bells and more is added. Whoever mixed this should be given an award.
There are other grooves to be found like on “next to the molecule” which blurs lines between jazz, elevator music and experimental as well as the utterly unique sounding “dance of great potoo.” Seidel can on occasion take advantage of the space around the sounds. You hear this more on “explanation from nurse” where he lets the sounds breathe and sit a bit more than on previous songs.
Things can get extremely experimental on a song like “Heart Failures” which seemed to revolve around piano and sounds that at least resembled flatulence. Perhaps the most traditional and dare I say rocking Seidel gets is on “don’t get carried away.” That's really just the beginning. I won't give away some of the immersive elements of the sounds on songs like “you have no new messages” and ‘the same first day, again.”
My only minor issue that is arguable is the length. I usually prefer to sit down with an album and listen from beginning to end. I think it's fair to say that some of my thoughts about an album should come from the experience between those two points. You could argue that at seventeen songs two dimensional version of a four dimensional glance can take a little patience to get through in one sitting. That's all I'm saying.
Overall, this is another exceptional effort by Seidel in his increasing catalogue. Highly recommended.
Divide and Conquer is dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We review a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
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