Thursday, November 10, 2011

minutestatic - Dalot


n5MD Records.

SCQ Rating: 72%

Released just twelve months after her n5MD debut, minutestatic reads like a sophomore effort looking to expand on Maria Papadomanolaki’s blurred textural experiments – nothing more. Such an ambition might've seemed lackluster had her 2010 release Loops Over Latitude not grappled such a uniquely evasive sound from the get-go. Luckily for us, Papadomanolaki again follows that singular muse, employing heavy sonic layers to increasingly concise, textural washes – some even containing a pop-like pulse.

Dalot’s more invitational approach first jumps out on ‘Missing Pieces’, which uses a metronomic beat to pace out slightly warped keyboard arpeggios, and again over the shimmering guitar tones that paint ‘The Empty Desk’ with a Campfire Headphase-like serenity. Tracks like ‘The Blue Car’ and the contemplative ‘In Silence’ show continued refinement of Dalot’s at times gauzy approach but, in general, minutestatic contains more memorable passages and emotional anchors (meaning “pop hooks” in ambient terms) than Looping Over Latitude expounded. Unsurprisingly it’s Dalot’s talents incorporating electro-acoustic instrumentation into her collages that affords these songs such warm and bewildering nature. Her guitar work gives ‘Cause & Effect’ a winding backbone without forcing a linear reading of the track’s ambience. And it’s that breadth of instrumental knowledge that helps Dalot stand out from so many cloudy laptop artists – many being unaware of what a glockenspiel is, let alone how to play one. Let’s hope future releases continue minutestatic’s progress of weeding out Papadomanolaki’s unique talents from electro-shoegaze obscurity.

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