Dedekind Cut – The Expanding Domain Review

The Expanding Domain cover

Unattainable

Self - Released

 February 24, 2017

8.6

With the start of his new project as Dedekind Cut after his previous experience as Lee Bannon, Fred Warmsley was finally able to express all his true potential, becoming part of the new electronic music movement based on instincts and emotions. “$uccessor” was the starting point towards a drastic change inside the scene and tracks like “Instinct” and “Fear In Reverse” revealed the darker side of him. The aggressive synth of the first and the repeated discontinuity of the second suggest a new way of conceiving ambient music where the main idea is to lead the listener in the most remote landscapes of the artist’s subconscious, based on his own instincts. We are no longer surrounded by an atmospheres or simple different sensations anymore, we are instead devoured and conquered by inner feelings that are much deeper and complex. Reason is unable to guide us where Dedekind Cut is bringing us. It can only learn on the moment and process what it tries (and might) grasp evolving into a journey through the unknown.

Unfortunately the following tracks assume a more linear and emotive approach, the inner feelings become tangible, instincts are sacrificed in favor of sensations. At the same time the recreational thrust that brought us in Dedekind’s remote landscapes is unhappily missing in this part, everything start to be focused on emotions. The album works well but it’s hard to understand Dedekind’s true intentions. The shift of style from cryptic and dark (Dedekind Cut) to a broader and more accessible one (Lee Bannon) may in part have influenced the production and might have played an important role in the search of balance between a hidden and an obscure irrationality (instinct) and lighter and more understandable emotions.

With this self-released EP Dedekind Cut manages to finally overcome his uncertainties with a completely unseen inaccessible and obscure form for him. One of the best abilities shown on this work is the intelligence of engaging with extremely refined collaborators, which allowed him to explore between a wide variety of expressions and schools of thought, from Elysia Crampton‘s immersive and emotional environment to Zach Hill or Prurient‘s sheer irrationality. A Dark, surreal and hypnotic “Domain” is built from simple sensations like “Cold” or “Fear”, building a metaphorical journey into human subconscious, working on instinct and intuition. Everything is expressed discontinuously, often with violent changes of sounds and rhythm, like a scary and disorienting glare decreasing the perception of reality. Dedekind Cut destroys any typical reference to dark ambient music, and rebuilds it at his own will, finding in industrial sounds shades that allow him to unveil new boundaries that were never reached before by any artist.

The irrepressible industrial synths smash the sweetness of Lil Puffy Coat‘s arrangements reaching a dark and irrational sound that is able to build up an incredibly complex and intangible environment around the listener, something that might resemble Stranger ThingsUpside Down, where despair, solitude and fear combine themselves giving birth to a creature that is together terrifying and uncontrollable. A mix of many different feelings and conflicting sensations that make the experience totally messed up and hard to be decode. The same environment is reached with the track The Expanding Domain, in which Zach Hill and Prurient‘s percussions find an incredibly well built balance with Dedekind Cut‘s experimental synths and his mind-blowing changes of pace. The length of the track too seems like the perfect measure for the three artists to develop their personal influences, maintaining an amazing high density of ideas in “just” six minutes. The layering is so sophisticated that it’s impossible to grasp any feeling in its completeness and the cognitive perception falls further than on any the other song on the record.

Das Expanded, Untitled Riff is the end of this twisted and melting journey (which is now “expanded”). Reason gradually starts to regain its faculties and we begin to gain the awareness of what we’ve just experienced. The addition of Mica Levi‘s and Elysia Crampton‘s piano arrangements helps us finding an inner peace that seemed impossible to gain back to. The layering is intensified by Fred Warmsley‘s noisy dark ambient synths that rebuild softly the obscure landscapes of our estrangement. Everything is narrated almost rationally, a sign of our intellectual change. Dedekind Cut finds in this complexity a unique solidity, managing to meld Arcas instinct and intuition together with the ethereal landscapes of Oneohtrix Point Never. The result is an outstanding loss of reference points that allows the listener to enjoy deep feelings wholly unrelated to our mere existence. The Expanding Domain can be considered like the maximum sound fulfillment of the unattainable, going beyond common human imagination.

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