Dustman Dilemma — On Second Thought
(Bandcamp L', 2018, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-12-26
I hadn’t heard anything about this band before receiving this promo out of the blue (and by the title, this is obviously their second release); in some ways that’s good, no expectations of any kind, and totally open for a surprise, which this definitely is. The band is a six-piece from France, the members (all with first names only) playing drums, keyboards, saxes and clarinet, bass, violin, and contrabassoon, the drummer (Nico) is also the singer on the four tracks that have vocals with lyrics, the recording engineer is the keyboardist (Pierre), and the drummer also did the mixdown. The opening title track runs a good seven minutes and opens with only a dark menacing keyboard figure, soon joined by multi-tracked voice (all lyrics are in English), reminiscent of a shoegazer style, but after the first verse woodwinds, bass, and percussion join in the fun and soon we dispense with the vocals and are marching into early King Crimson-like territory, with all the players pushing the limits. The sax player (Sam) is the band’s powerhouse throughout the album’s arrangements, seemingly driving the entire group to higher and higher levels of energy, while the bassist (Virgile) and drums maintain a superb bottom end along with contrabassoon, though they have the good sense to disengage occasionally allowing the mood to go introspective and reflective. The two tracks that follow the opener are shorter numbers and are purely instrumental, showcasing different sides of the band’s work, as they delve into dark jazz-rock and odd meters, continuing through to the next vocal piece, “Beyond the Veil,” where odd grooves rule the night. “Back and Glad” starts with a powerful blast of woodwind action flanked by mallet percussion, all morphing into a euro-folk style that reminds me of Debile Menthol at times, the unconventional and dark vocals juxtaposed with powerful and edgy eruptions of winds, carrying through to the song’s coda. “Definitely Hammered” (instrumental) and “Foresigh” (vocal closer) form a nearly 15 minute bloc of music containing some of the most adventurous improvisation to be found here. The long and the short of it is there is a lot more here that’s hard to describe in words, but listeners who can appreciate the edgy side of sax-driven early progressive rock should waste no time in seeking out this gem.
Related artist(s): Dustman Dilemma
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
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