Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dimmer - Remissions (Isounderscore, 2009)

Dimmer - Sun Dog

Dimmer is a couple of guys from California who've gotten far enough in their tape manipulating life to put out Remissions as their second full length. And with 4 epic side long noise pieces, I have a feeling this slick double vinyl might be pretty fuckin hard to follow up.

All together, Remissions runs about an hour and it's one of the most teeth clenching experiences you'll ever have listening to a record. "Sky Wire" is a song full of tape hiss and electronic washes, that sounds like the wind blowing through humming electrical wires (Aeolian effect!), creating enough static electricity to shock down telephone poles.

With the exception of flipping the record over, things move seamlessly into "Sun Dog." It starts out all sweet and chill, but builds up this ghostly alien forcefield around it. And god help you if you want to go through it, 'cause shit gets nasty. Shrill squeals and laser rays penetrate your skull, until you back off and start seeing phantoms made of reverse photons. And then the bees come. The multi-dimensional bees that only pop into our reality for seconds at a time, just long enough to scare the shit out of you and think you're suddenly surrounded by a swarm of pissed off stinging insects, and then they just pop back into some other reality, leaving you alone to contemplate your sanity.

"Gases That Emit Light" is one of those so-appropriate-it's-crazy song titles. It sounds, quite literally, like gas emitting light. Except the gas is mustard gas and it's emitting ultra-radioactive infrared light. IT'S KILLING YOU AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT. Slowly, your ears fall off, then your skin starts dripping from your bones, and by the end of the song, you're a glowing pile of liquid carbon. All while listening to this seemingly innocuous piece of tape noise with a pretty name.

The final track, "Giant Eagle," is, of course, the most unsettling. You know that moment in horror movies, right before something really terrible happens? Like, the killer is about to jump out from behind the counter wearing a mask made the pet dog's ass and kill the innocent teenager with a meat cleaver? Well, the music leading up to that scene is always really unnerving. The kind of music that puts you on the edge of your seat grinding your teeth and turning your knuckles white (if it's done right). The reason that's tolerable is because it only lasts for a minute or two, tops. "Giant Eagle" is over 15 minutes long and is made entirely of those sounds that come just before awful things happen. It's fucking cool but certainly not an easy listen.

So, yeah, Remissions is a fuckin beast, albeit a super subtle beast. It's non-blissful tape drone noise that never gets too uppity. And sometimes it's hard to find bands that do that well. Dimmer is one of those bands. Here's hoping the third record can be even more awesome.


db said...

Dimuzio and Hammer are the perfect combination of different media, different approaches but all woven together into an unsettling craggy nest. Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year (great label too!).

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