Review of Dust [12k1019]

Grooves (US)

The thing about most 12k and sister label Line releases is that, by and large, they work their way into your room, your listening space, even your headphones with a degree of innocuousness that’s at times baffling. Seemingly that’s what founder Taylor Deupree wants – for listeners to embrace musical recordings as complimentary elements of whatever environment we’re in at that time. Even on 12k’s more melody-centric releases like Shuttle358’s wonderful Frame, there’s never a point at which the precision-placed microsound clicks, pops, and tones confront listeners directly, demanding attention like a Kid606, Monolake, or even Vladislav Delay release.

It’s because of this tendency that the UK’s Chris Coode, recording for the first time on 12k as Motion, could be a sign of change, as Dust comes perilously close to demanding focused listening energy. There’s a randomness in the quiet pops punctuating the white-noise fabric of “Lo.Jack” that refues to be kept at low volumes, as if blending in with your computer keystrokes or the clanking of your spoon against your cereal bown late at night. “Lo.Jack” instead ebbs and flows erratically, mimicking the dart of birds flocking haphazardly on a windy fall day. Where one finds a kind of repetition in the powerful, unforgiving sub-bass of “LNR6,” attention invariably falls on the minute timing glitches that push the sub-bass out of the sequence, as well as on the complex yet lilting glints that fracture the highest harmonics. While Dust may not be the most accessible 12k release to date, it’s certainly an engaging one for those who follow the label.
– Heath K. Hignight

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