Thursday, 8 April 2010

DRAPE – Dream Words

Ryan Gracey and Spencer Williams are Drape. Their work – as easily deduced from titles like “Cosmic Juices” and “Thin Air” – deals with slowed-down breathing, ethereal matters, blurred colours. In a word, what was once called “space music”. And, of course, it is mostly based on synthetic waves, celestial samples, repetitive ebb and flow and – needless to say - drones, pushing the sonority to occasionally well-affirmed consonance (“Goldenmouth”) and, in the finest examples, wrapping it with a blanket of unplumbed secrecy (“The Pillar And The Post”). So you’d expect your purple prose peddler to launch his customary tirade against the overpopulation of this sector of electronica. Not this time, no.

There’s something – and I still have to understand what exactly is – that makes me appreciate this record quite a bit. It is indeed a very serene release, well structured designs succeeding without anxiety, each detail in its correct place; and, for good measure, a degree of legitimate authenticity is perceived. Hints to pages from the Eno book, and also from the golden era of people such as Robert Rich and Steve Roach are not missing, yet you can almost touch the concentration and the genuine dedication with which Gracey and Williams painted the hues and chose the combinations in the studio. One detects the hours of labour behind Dream Words and – either you like the final result or not, and this writer does value the effort for the large part – this is already a valid reason for respecting the men who created it. Which, given the unproblematic access to this zone for practically everybody, equals a praiseworthy achievement. Honesty and acceptation of one’s limits will always be more precious than bogus saintliness shrouded by supposedly inscrutable, entirely mono-dimensional stasis.

Gears Of Sand