Dilloway released one of last year's great experimental records with Modern Jester (Hanson), a double LP of warped tape loops, gunky noise, and clattering machine grooves that kind of distills the various threads of sonic chaos he's been chasing over the years into one powerful, well-conceived dose. Tape is Dilloway's medium and he uses it to transform all of kinds of elusive sounds from field recordings, in-the-red synthesizer passages, backwards percussion, and alien voices. It's impossible to nail down the provenance of anything here and it hardly matters, as for Dilloway it's all raw material. Each of the tracks accretes layers and intensity as they go; some mutate greatly, while others remain largely static, but in every case it's fascinating to observe the grimy collage of sound loops of different lengths, speeds, and volume interact in a kind of low-budget phase music. Dilloway seems to enjoy setting up the various threads and letting them run, but he also consistently tweaks specific parts, slowing down a particular line to queasy effect. Below you can listen to the side long "Body Chaos."
A less frenetic but no less gripping side of Dilloway surfaced this past year on Grapes and Snakes (PAN), a collaboration with fellow tape loop merchant Jason Lescalleet. On the sidelong "Shattered Capsules" the sounds are sustained, slowly building synthesizer tones and crinkly tape manipulations patiently rising into high pitched drift into the sunset. On the sidelong "Shattered Capsules" the sounds are sustained, slowly building synthesizer tones and crinkly tape manipulations that rise into a high-pitched drift. The flip, "Burning Nest," is far darker and meaner, with a hovering industrial drone lapped at by splashes of stinging white noise, until the action turns to slowly descending twirls of static undulating in wider and wider swoops and arcs. The track's revved-up, churning climax is a convergence of bird-like squeals, percussive thunderclaps, and horror-flick hall-of-mirrors confusion. You can check out a six-minute excerpt of the piece below.
Dilloway will also play a free in-store at Reckless Records on Friday.
Spring, Slides (ILK)
Mike DiRubbo, Chronos (Posi-Tone)
Håkon Thelin, Light (Atterklang)
Father's Children, Who's Gonna Save the World (Numero Group)
Clark Terry, The Happy Horns of Clark Terry/It's What's Happenin' (Impulse)