Look down there…yeah, at the bottom of the page. See all those other articles that come up, they’re all about Dissolved. You know, Dissolved. Scottish bloke, writes albums in his sleep. Stirs his tea to a 7/8 time signature and lives in a ruined castle in the Highlands playing digital bagpipes. That Dissolved.
Shortly after releasing “Snowy Psychoplasmics” the people who are milking Dissolved have decided its time to turn the thumb screws again and set him in motion, extracting yet another album from him. In his own words he described it as “a bunch of outtakes” and I thought “Yeah I’ll grab that in a bit”. I forgot about it and then two weeks later remembered and sat down to give it a listen. And very swiftly realized this wasn’t “some outtakes” but a fully fledged album that delivers the classic Dissolved sound in a concise and elegiac way.
Each and every track has some feature that renders it meaningful. The compulsive bassline and fluttery synths of “Sleep of Thorncombe Beacon”, the spiralling arpeggiator or fantastic sample on “Anxiety Plasm”, the squishy insectile noises or b-movie synths of “Charmouth Sentinels”. None of that sound appealing ? What about the beautifully catchy lead synth hook on “We Don’t See The Birds They Do” or its disarmingly simple melody or the Radiophonic Workshop like intro to “Scent of the Tectonic States” and its minimal beats. If you’re still not interested what about the first of two secret tracks (sorry for the spoiler)“Landslid” with its archetypal twisted Dissolved melody and interlinked bass and beat work, which serves as a perfectly workable intro to the all out psyche-fest of “Arctic Ultra”. I won’t say anything about “Arctic Ultra” other than its one of those moments that you just don’t want to end…and it very nearly doesn’t. Oh and I think there are bagpipes on it (no, really). So far, so bloody good, but then “Magma of IO” pops up and what a closing track…sci-fi bossa-nova that caused me to jump to my feet and perform a sort of Lambeth stroll meets robotics dance that I have never been able to recreate but enjoyed immensely.
Dissolved is something you either like or don’t, I’m not sure you can grow to like his music. So why do I write review after review of his albums ? Because if someone out there can be bothered to write music that time and again finds a point of emotional contact within the dead husk of my soul, the least I can do is repay the favour, dust off the old shit-spewer and spew some shit. This album is firmly within my top ten Dissolved releases. It may not have a strong overall identity but it is full of great songs and would act as a perfect lure to draw people further down the murky rabbit hole of Dissolved’s world. And it’s free from here