Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Dylan Ettinger - Fruit Bats (Curious Lacunae CS)
Just in from Foxy Digitalis:
Proving to be one of the more consistent offerers in the tropically-minded vein of experimental sounds, Dylan Ettinger has broadened his output from his own El Tule label to recent releases from the likes of Not Not Fun and this one, on Curious Lacunae. Meshing his palm-tree aesthetic with a crude, tape mashing sensibility, Ettinger's sound is considerably woozier than many of his contemporaries, reading more like the post-margarita memory of some chopped up circus night in old Cancun.
A lot of the stuff on this tape is actually quite subtle considering its clear overall angle. Small sounds and miniature transmissions are frequently hushed and stoic, writhing like jellies on the sand. Daytime comes, bringing with it the parasols and pina coladas, but at night the moon's glow still gets the crabs out for their crustacean cuisines. It's these moments that are best too, floating in the same waters as Dolphins into the Future and Ferraro without sounding too deeply rooted in it. If Ferraro's in Long Beach, Ettinger might be in some secret Canadian bay where tiny whales sing effortless lullabies. It's nice stuff, and careful at that.
The carnival always returns though, steel drums clanging away in riotous revelry. But the underlying interest is in the little things, the blurts of sound coming from beyond the waves. Ettinger's willing to let it all speak for itself in that way, presenting a scene and examining it one piece at a time. Yet the squids are always of greatest interest, and Ettinger seems more than eager to let them fill the vast majority of the tape. Without the contrast of sounds these synthesizer drifts wouldn't hold the same weight, true, but it's nice to see him work where he knows his strengths are. A carefully done release that exhibits further growth from this up-and-comer. Nice.