Jun 2014 16

Defrag - DrownDefrag
Category: IDM
Album: Drown
Stars: 4
Blurb: Focusing inward on the solitary truth of a suffocating end to existence, Defrag’s latest work displays a wonderful sense of electronic variety and maturity.


In 2009, Jeff Dodson released under his Defrag moniker Lament Element, an album of chaotic drum & bass that evoked an atmosphere of turmoil and tension in tribute to the Old Ones in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. After five years honing his skills and engaging other pursuits, Defrag returns as Dodson plunges further into the depth of his psyche with the aptly titled Drown. Taking a step back from drum & bass and exploring the more schizoid regions of IDM and other dark experimental electronics, Drown’s scope feels less cosmic than its predecessor and more internal; as if to plays as soundtrack to the mind’s thoughts as one sinks further into the watery depths.

Wrought with anxiety and anticipation in equal measure, “If You Were a Dream” begins the album with skittering electronic percussion underscoring waves of strings and reverberating howls of electronic noise, as if the bellows of some strange creature languishing in the distance. It’s an appropriate mood piece that sets the album’s tone straight away, with the scathing warbles of scathing synths and hollow ambience in “Nine” and the mournful swells of strings and punishing percussion assaults on “Make Them Real” gradually giving way to dissonant bell-like melodies in “Stare” and whistling feedback against a rather catchy EBM-inspired bass loop on “Grin,” with some light pianos thrown in for good measure. Hints of dubstep make themselves apparent in “Entering the Abyss” before evolving into the three-part “Abyss,” echoes of various sounds of glitchy synth, percussion, and noise creating an ambient tapestry that more than adequately captures a sense of isolation, bleakness, and eventuality that comes as one sinks further below.

Closing out with the decrepit and mournful title track, sprinkles of harrowing pianos making for an especially evocative ending, Drown displays a greater maturity of sound design and arrangement for Jeff Dodson. Topped off by some fine production and instances of more musical and classical elements, Drown is perhaps broader in its scope than Lament Element was. Without the need to seek out fictional celestial deities and focusing purely on the human element of solitary existence and the knowledge of its suffocating conclusion, Defrag may not be breaking the boundaries of IDM, but is certainly showcasing a more thoughtful and introspective side to what is a rather esoteric genre.
Track list:

  1. If You Were a Dream
  2. Nine
  3. Make Them Real
  4. Stilt Walkers
  5. Stare
  6. Everything I Do is Drown
  7. Grin
  8. Entering the Abyss
  9. Abyss I
  10. Abyss II
  11. Abyss III
  12. Drown

Defrag MySpace https://myspace.com/defrag
Defrag Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Defrag/376631200718
Defrag SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/runsilent
Hymen Records Website http://www.hymen-records.com
Hymen Records MySpace https://myspace.com/hymenrecords
Hymen Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hymenrecords
Hymen Records Bandcamp http://hymen-records.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Storming the Base CD
Storming the Base Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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