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Dirac, "Emphasis"

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cover imageHailing from Vienna, this relatively new trio has refined their approach to a post-rock and ambient influenced sound that, unlike many of their contemporaries, focuses more on the live collaboration to develop their sound, and not as much on DSP processing and effects laden sound.



Dirac - Emphasis - EP

Spread across four long tracks, the trio has an intentional sense of isolation injected within the sound.  Recorded over a week in the basement of member Florian Kindlinger’s parents’ house, and then edited in a small hut in the Austrian mountains, there is a sense of being alone amidst the lush ambience.  The opening "This Is Your 4AM Wake-Up Call" begins with slow ringing reverse textures, a low rhythmic pulse and an odd clicking sound finally appear.  The track builds in complexity, adding subtle layers of sound that, on their own seem rather sparse, but taken together, along with guitar and fragments of voice, sound like a deconstructed take on shoegaze ambient, complex yet beautiful and inviting.

Heavily effected string and sparse ambient sounds introduce "Augarten," and a distant kickdrum acts like a heartbeat in the extremely intimate recording.  Compared to the opener, the heavily tremolo’ed strings that stretch for infinity stay the primary focus, with only the occasionally plucked string, or the sound of movement picked up by an ambient microphone.  Because of this extremely simple structure, it’s more like being in the room as the tracks were being laid down as opposed to a polished studio (or live) recording.

"Bantu" brings back more of the processing and effects, with the metallic pings and rattles and subtle guitar pushing it into improvisation-land, with field recordings and wind chimes fleshing out the sound.  As the track closes, a lush organ and digital textures push the volume up to full on power ambience:  heavy and room-filling, but never oppressive or harsh.  The closing "A Rest in Tension" lives up to its name:  it mirrors the textures of the opening track, but keeps the dense heaviness of "Bantu" on and on, even above recordings of conversations and long, drawn-out sounds before ending on a sparse note of a clicking metronome and distant bells.

As previously stated, there’s a constant sense of isolation and intimacy here:  even though field recordings occasionally put the sound in a wider context, there is still the feeling of being in a room with these guys as its being recorded, in an entirely different world.  The shoegaze and ambient elements pervade, but never feel like a crutch to be leaned on.  Too often bands will simply pile on the effects to create a lush, heavy feeling, but here it feels truly warm, and truly different.


Last Updated on Sunday, 24 January 2010 13:01  


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