Monday, February 1, 2016

018 - "In The Crossing" by Dextro

I have a lot of love for the music my fellow countryman, Ewan Mackenzie, creates under the name of Dextro. His bold and vibrant electronic soundscapes excite me and keep me coming back for more. You can, therefore, imagine my delight when into my InBox popped a wee promo for "In The Crossing", his latest album (thanks mate!).

The opening track, "evacuate", is a belter: an uptempo big-beat floor-filler with BOC-esque wonky synths. I thought, upon my first listen, that this would be a fine scene-setter. I was, however, wrong.

I was wrong because Dextro takes “In The Crossing” in a completely different direction for tracks 2 to 5 and 8 (inclusive) ... these tracks present the kind of expressive ambient music that simply adore and find thrilling. These soundscapes include piano and both acoustic and electric guitar; they follow the postrock school of ambience: lots of reverb and droning sounds that create wonderful walls-of-sound.

One such track, "silent", totally enthralls me with its ethereal vocals and vintage synth sounds holding a mysterious dialogue. I will feature this track on circumambient because it would fit so very well.

From track 6, "the passage", Dextro picks back up his uptempo beats and synths, creating as he does a wonderfully engaging piece that reverts back to the beatless ambience of earlier about two/thirds in.

The penultimate track, "sum poly", is a real highlight: it encapsulates the album with it’s wall-of-sound, guitar and gentle beats; it sums up where Dextro is on his musical journey.

We then come to the final track, "occupy”, a powerful, euphoric multi-layered slice of electronica; it drips with anticipation. Mackenzie kicks off with a quirky harp / stringed instrument and slowly adds layers of sound to the track, layers that add to the tension of the piece. It closes the album nicely.

All in … “In The Crossing” is a pleasure that will appeal to fans of ambient, electronic and post-rock music. Mackenzie really deserves a hit on his hands with this.

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