Richard Dart hails from Australia and has been making music for about four years. That's really not much time. I tend to think it takes about ten years before a songwriter typically reaches a plateau. Of course every case is different but that’s what I've noticed with my thirty-five years on this planet. Dart is off to a good start with dry the monkey's eye. His music is instrumental and mixes guitars, synths, bass and more into a fairly tranquil ambient atmosphere.
He opens with “Aaah” which has a mystical Persian vibe that was was created with airy synths and slide guitar. The drum beat and bass work merely holds the foundation. All the changes are subtle and nothing more than that.
“Aaah” serves as a template for most of what lies ahead. Dart finds a groove and then jams on it with minor deviations. Because of that this album is cohesive and sounds best listened to as one piece of music.
There were some grooves that stuck out to me like “Cactus dollars.” It has a bit of LA Noir, mystery groove. “Ooh” contains a cool jazz groove and alien landing pads from the ’50s. “Returning” sounds like I was entering a new age spa. He closes strong with the lounge-y “Remain” and “nothing doing.”
Dart may still have a long way to compete with notable producers like Four Tet, Caribou and Flying Lotus but he is on the right path. I would tell him to try and find a new sound when it comes to the rhythm section.
The bass and drums both felt too static, clean and programmed. I would also like him to take more chances and find a way to deviate from the initial vibe he finds. Finding a one groove isn’t easy but being able to deviate with a transition that is identifiably different yet somehow connected is a pro move.
I haven't had a chance to listen to Dart’s latest entitled Ambient Sun but I am looking forward to it. Dart is one to keep an eye on as his skills evolve.
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