Title: Horror Vacui
Released: May 9th, 2013
Genre: Downtempo | Trip Hop
Artist Country: UK
Label: Dusted Wax Kingdom
Catalog Number: DWK210
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Continuing with my run of downtempo releases from Dusted Wax Kingdom we have dustmotes (aka Paul Croker) latest release Horror Vacui.
This is definitely not a release that you will confuse in any way, shape or form with deeB‘s Thru Nature release. While both are chilled-out, downtempo trip-hop the approach and method employed by Paul Crocker is almost the exact opposite of deeB‘s release. The fact that the difference is so thorough is even evidenced in the artwork for the two release: Thru Nature has a picture of a man entering the woods, while Horror Vacui features an assembled of black and white images.
One might be tempted to think Horror Vacui is an experiment in collage: the process of pasting a bunch of pieces together from different sources. And, to a degree it is, at least in the visual representation of the cover work.
However, this work goes even further. Instead of just being an assemblage or collage, dustmotes has deconstructed the source materials he is working with, breaking them down into tiny, molecular structures. Once the elements have been isolated, the process of re-construction is used to weave all the tiny pieces into a new fabric with new relationships to each other. On top of this fabric dustmotes weaves a healthy layer of trip-hop beats and breaks to effect a complete transformation of the original sources into new works.
In listening to the release, I can say that I am only able to vaguely put a finger on the occasional small element here and there. For example, the tiny fragment of a bass line used as part of the foundation for the track Little Show is one that many jazz fans will know. However in the hands of dustmotes it is transformed in such a way as to not evoke attachment to the original, nor is it derivative of the original piece.
Another true standout of this release is the collaboration with Madeleine Bloom. Her airy and subtly nuanced vocal contribution to the title track really set the mood for a release that is as experimental as it is grounded. Her keyboard work ties her vocals with the textured weave of samples, and then allows her to float away vocally, adding an eerie and yet angelic quality to the song.
Overall, an excellent chill release that is the perfect complement to my last reviewed work. In fact, I like to stagger works by deeB and dustmotes in my playlist. Keeps my sound environment well chilled, while interesting and varied.
(20130621 EDIT: Accidentally mis-spelled Paul’s name. Corrected.)