Dalhous - Composite Moods Collection - Vol 1
Firstly, before I get to talking about this album in detail, what is with that title? Yes, it does sound like one of those new-age compilation discs that were everywhere in the early 90s. The kind of stuff you could order from mail-order catalogues or via the home-shopping channels.
However, that’s where the comparisons end because this is a thoughtful, sobering meditation on mental illness. The music itself is something of a small departure for the artist, (Marc Dall) who doesn’t impose so much rhythmic structure this time around. The album opens with ‘Response To Stimuli’ with dark, reverberating chords. It’s a good introduction to the pieces that follow. The album features cold, crystalline keyboards and in other places such as on the beautiful ‘On A Level’ warm, billowing chords that work nicely against each other. There is also more than a nod to the Scottish band, Boards of Canada. Some of the pieces on this album have a kind of transient, haunting quality that the group are known for. ‘Research Network’ has a flutey opening that leads on to what seems like a gorgeous Roland D50 (think Clannad on their 1989 album, ‘Atlantic Realm’). There are also hints of late 1980’s Tangerine Dream - well at least it feels like that for me. In fact, listening to this album over and over, I’m reminded of TD, Steve Roach and BOC. Your mileage may vary. It’s all beautiful, heady stuff.
I guess if I could best describe this album it would be to say that it has a fragmented, blurred feel that is totally engrossing.
The production and sound quality on ‘The Composite Moods Collection, Volume 1’ are excellent and I have no trouble at all recommending it to fans of ambient electronic music. It’s my favourite album of the year so far.
Just a shame about that title.