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Dedekind Cut – Tahoe


Dedekind Cut - TahoeDedekind Cut has been extremely busy in the last couple of years what with one album on Non and a whole plethora of self-released EPs. He has obviously been noticed as this second album is being released on Kranky, happy home of all things leftfield and with an ambient slant.

Tahoe sits nicely within their world view, and over the course of seven tracks the listener is taken on a slow-motion journey through stunning empty landscapes and wild, deserted vistas. The opening three tracks, starting with “Equity”, rise up like we are sitting on the lip of some long-forgotten valley. The scenery is lush and green, and off in the distance, out of sight, is the gentle rush of a waterfall. It could be that long, dry valley beyond the Long Man at Wilmington or perhaps somewhere further afield, but it is somewhere almost inaccessible, only by those who really want to find peace and solitude.

Somewhere else though, out of sight, a girl is sighing and that sigh is being transported up the valley to your ears. Does she know that you are there? It is hard to say, but that gentle keening sound is a salve to your lonely soul. You decide to try and follow the source of the voice, probably against your better judgement and trace the lip of the valley towards the source of the sound, but what you find instead is the cave into which the waterfall is flowing and inside is another magnificent place of solitude and contemplation. The drones move like so much flotsam on the gentle tide lapping at your feet as the sounds travel upwards into the cavernous roof, reverberating there, and as the third track, “Tahoe”, finishes, so we find ourselves at peace.

“MMXVIII” changes the mood somewhat; a busy vocal and harpsichord interlude leads into a throat-singing drone with gentle string glissando accompaniment. The feeling is of being drawn up into the air in some kind of slow-motion flyby of a mountainous landscape filled with terraced rice fields and small narrow-track railways snaking through scattered villages. Birds sing and people go about their daily grind, unaware of this spectator above. As the vibes become lighter, so we are lifted further into the air until everything below us just becomes specks on some abstract green surface.

Things are slightly edgier up here, there is a constant ringing in your ears and the tension that the sounds start to produce have a little in common with Étant Donnés, some unknown things are being plunged into water as the throat singing returns, this time like a prelude to some half-speed disaster. It is all quite a distance from how the album started, but a hidden track allows for some closure. Polyphonic waves of calming drones are administered to soothe our nerves and return equilibrium to the listening experience.

This is an album that takes a few listens before it makes itself obvious, but is well worth the internal journey. Maybe it will take you somewhere else, but you should let it into your life.

-Mr Olivetti-

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