Exposé Online banner

Dive Index — Waving at Airplanes
(Bandcamp Neutral Music, 2020, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-08-13

Waving at Airplanes Cover art

Waving at Airplanes is a very deceptive album. On the surface, it’s moody, atmospheric electronic pop, with references to trip-hop and off-kilter pop like Billie Eilish, but close listening reveals a lot of subtlety and depth. Dive Index is a “collaborative project” headed by Will Thomas, also known as Plumbline, who has collaborated with Roger Eno and produced minimalist electronic music. Dive Index is song-oriented, and Thomas is joined by singers Nalalie Walker and Merz (Conrad Lambert), who alternate tracks, almost creating a kind of dialog between the two voices.The backing tracks rely primarily on synthesizers and electronic percussion, though there also seem to be guitar and piano at times, though the sounds are mangled electronically. Throughout, the beats are unconventional, never touching on stock dancefloor thumping, with lots of stuttery samples and quirky twists. Many of the synth tones have oscillator-tweaking analog sounds, though whether they are analog or digital in origin I won’t hazard any guesses. The production is stellar, full of imaginative touches and interesting echoes that are revealed in headphones. Walker and Merz are both appealing vocalists — Walker with a lazy, breathy tone that drips of emotion and doesn’t sound quite like anyone else; Merz with a hint of gravel that is very appealing, a little like Peter Gabriel (only a little). For fans of electronic pop, Waving at Airplanes should provide a great alternative to more mainstream offerings, with wrinkles that will stand up to repeated listening; for fans of more experimental electronic music, there is enough going on that the beautiful melodies won’t get cloying. Either way, it’s definitely worth the effort to investigate.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Dive Index / Will Thomas / Plumbline

More info

Latest news

SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Cédric Vuille - Faire – Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Vuille may be better known as a founder member of the Swiss Band L’Ensemble Rayé, and Debile Menthol before that. But with little to no recording activity from...  (2011) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues