Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Finding - dreissk

The Finding

n5MD Records.

SCQ Rating: 73%

The idea of Kevin Patzelt, the man behind dreiskk, being publicized as the first of n5MD’s next-generation artists seemed dangerous to me, not because I’d ever heard the dreissk project before but because artists taking inspiration from label-mates of a previous era sounds akin to a label spinning its wheels. That's hardly the case, thankfully. Having played The Finding through a multitude of times now, I understand n5MD’s angle; Patzelt does tip his hat to a flurry of styles either conceived or impeccably mastered by his predecessors, only he footnotes these influences into an undercurrent beneath dreiskk’s own vision.

The restlessness at the root of The Finding, dreissk’s inability to settle on ambience or loose composition, makes the whole affair that much more satisfying. From ambient tracks that stand sturdily on their own (‘Beholden’) to structured environments that simmer, swell and rise (‘Unknown Discontent’), Patzelt crafts a cantankerous mood-piece of songs that needn’t be separated into skip-able tracks (but it’s a nice gesture nonetheless). Like Tim Hecker, the majority of these songs exist in a state of turmoil, some fighting for beauty, others basking in disorder. The stargazing quality of ‘Depart’ may recall M83 with its achingly lovely guitar floating over menacing and muddled riffs, whereas ‘To That Which Binds Me’ boils over into industrial hysterics, well-crafted enough to avoid sounding obnoxious but too chaotic to communicate much else.

Touching on both the dreamy and nightmarish, dreissk’s achievements remain ultimately technical; the bubbling details of ‘Emergence’ are the song’s highpoint, not the heavy-hitting live drums that hammer the point home. Bombastic moments such as these may keep The Finding from getting groggy but they also steer some stirring music into predictable, epic fanfare. And in repeated cases over this n5MD debut, Patzelt shows he’s better when avoiding that impulse.

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