Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Album Review: "Vermillion" by Dirty Art Club

Vermillion by Dirty Art Club is released on May 28
on Phonosaurus Records
I can't remember the last time a local band surprised me as much as Dirty Art Club.  The Charlotte based duo of Matt Cagle & Madwreck deliver dense tracks filled with hip-hop styled breaks and psychedelic instrumentation, but most importantly they're capable of eliciting emotion through their music.  When I first heard Hexes, Dirty Art Club's 2012 EP, I was immediately enthralled by their brilliant Dilla-esque production.

Hexes contained dark undertones and a chaotic sense of direction, but Vermillion is vastly different in that sense.  Vermillion is filled with bright melodic exploration, showcasing heady tracks with entrancing rhythms and tight percussion.  Coated sun-soaked, reverb washed grooves, Vermillion is another incredible release for a band that's on the fast track to great things.

Album opener "Hemlock" glides along with a constant, smooth bassline and choppy vocal samples but gradually expands into a surprisingly expansive track with airy woodwinds and lush strings.  The song seamlessly deviates from its bassy foundation into an easy listening soft-rock dreamscape for it's closing seconds to make for an even more fulfilling transition to the standout "Sun Burn."  The aptly titled track plays out like a sepia-toned summer soundtrack thats filled with soulful samples, funky basslines and commanding rhythms.

Each track serves its own purpose but plays perfectly into the grand scheme of the album's progression and tone.  Mid-tempo jams explore vast soundscapes that radiate with warm melodies and fantastic production.  "Ghost of the Night Tide" is a pulsing track with soaring strings and shimmering synth lines that create a sensational aesthetic.  The subtle hint of fuzzed-out basslines and bright harmony add flare to the attention grabbing track.  Vermillion is filled with these thickly layered tracks that allow the listener to dig deeper in with each play through.  It's somewhat of a necessity with Dirty Art Club, their albums flow together so brilliantly that it's easy to forget that each track exists outside of the context of the full tracklist.  But when you single out tracks and bathe in the sheer quality of every song one can't help but notice that every single song is an independently fantastic piece of work.

Vermillion is a self-contained piece of electronic brilliance, it's an album filled with vibrant and adventurous worlds that encapsulate the listener and commands attention.  Tracks like "The Devils Mirror" and "Evermore" round out the end of the album with dazed-out tunes that pack a serious punch.  These songs are bursting at the seams, there's so much detail packed into this EP but it barely passes twenty minute mark.  By the time "Strange Wolf" kicks in and you realize you've reached the final track you kind of can't wait to start it all over again.  "Strange Wolf" provides a smooth exit for Dirty Art Club, bringing out a blissful blend of vocal samples and ethereal instrumentation to make for a dazzling way to end the EP.

Dirty Art Club has outdone themselves yet again and one can't help but wonder where the growth will take this duo next.  It's clear that their influences will be dragging them in countless different musical directions, but that means nothing but good things for fans of their psychedelic infused electro sounds.

Check out the lead single and first track from Vermillion, "Hemlock":

No comments:

Post a Comment