Saturday, 28 May 2011
Banger EP - Dakent
These days, many emerging artists find it difficult to really make themselves stand out from the tide of their contemporaries. Individuality is something that we seldom see, whether that be from most ideas being already taken or that the "genre culture" (I just made that up, I'm very, very impressed with myself so bare with me) encourages people to pick what music they choose from a pallet of pre-determined styles in order for them to be recognised.
Maybe it would be a stretch to call Dakent truly original, after all the tags on their bandcamp page include "electronica", "ambient" and "post-rock", but in this day and age they're close enough. In the end, the style that they've already established for themselves is hard to pin down to any handful of inspirations. The general pallet of bells and screeching ambient effects is not something most people will be accustomed to, but it's something that you slowly get into and, with some self-persuasion, come to enjoy.
The manner in which Dakent chooses to distribute this style is, by contrast, quite run-of-the-mill. For the most part the music will build up in layers before reaching the final crescendo and then dampening down for the last 30 seconds or so. This is a tried and tested ambient structure and it works just as well as it does everywhere else. However the complexity of the layering is fairly impressive, with "Noon", the standout track on the EP, incorporating a number of layers that much reach into the double digits. There is an exception to be found with the title track, Banger, which follows it's namesake by introducing itself timidly before literally exploding into a wall of sound at around the 2 minute mark. It's surprising but most of all memorable, and very well executed.
Possibly the most memorable aspect, however, is how Dakent manages to seemingly pair the organic and the electronic. Whole tracks will play with a constant whine of crickets in the background, or the fluttering of wings while bleeps and feedback will swirl amongst it. The music is often slow and soft, allowing you to appreciate all that is happening at once and to truly appreciate the sheer amount of samples that you may have to strain yourself to hear.
A small word has to be said about the remixes, sadly they're bland and forgettable without exception and it seems the only reason they were placed on the EP was because remixes are expected. It's a shame really as it mars was is otherwise a solid, interesting EP. So "Banger" certainly isn't perfect, but it's incredibly impressive for a debut that seems to have gone unnoticed.