Jan 2022 03

Album CoverDogtablet
Album: Pearldrop Blue
Category: Electronic / Ambient / Industrial
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2021-05-06


Martin King and Roberto Soave seemed to have settled into a winning formula with Dogtablet, employing a regular contingent of guest vocalists to enhance their audient instrumental forays. With Pearldrop Blue, the pervading ambience seems to be taking a step away from the harsher textures of industrial in favor of dreamier electronic entrancement, if only marginally. Case in point, a track like “Stagger & Fall,” on which Blue Eyed Christ’s John D. Norten delivers a tough – if somewhat overwrought – performance, the vocal cadence along with the bouncy beats bearing a somewhat hip-hop quality atop sustained drones that manage to hold interest well after the repetitions of the song title have overstayed their welcome. Similarly, Groovie Mann brings his familiarly slithery voice to the already ominous “Five Broken Straws,” lacking none of his sardonic whimsy with lines like “Nothing is forever, except bad weather,” though it’s not likely to remind many of his work in My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. As well, the metallic beats and warbling synths accentuate the song’s dark grooves rather nicely. The throaty and foreboding voice of Jared Louche returns to adorn such tracks as the spacious “The Clock & The Box,” the glassy and pensive “Heavy Gravity,” and the snaky “Confusion is the Hole,” his architextural diatribes full of all the sleaze and poetic grit one would expect of him. Of course, he shines most notably on “Start to Fade” as he adopts a luscious and cold baritone that contrasts beautifully with Roger Ebner’s saxophone. Cat Hall’s presence is always a welcome treat, her vibrant and engaging harmonies meshing with sustained pads and pianos, an angular guitar solo complementing her iterations of “With all my heart I wish tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might” on the opening “Star,” but it is especially on “A Song of Regret” with its scratchy electronics and rolling percussion building steadily in breadth and intensity that Hall’s voice takes on an emotive fury akin to that heard David Bowie’s 1. Outside or Blackstar albums. The same can be said of Coral Scere’s deep and bluesy presence on the ritualistic “Fortitude” and the saccharine shoegaze of “Blue,” while Sapphira Vee and Melodywhore enhance the sneer and sinister melodic flair of “Every Little Lie,” the song’s tail end reminiscent of Fever Ray or The Knife. The disparate vocal styles and timbres had made the preceding Feathers & Skin a somewhat jarring experience on the whole, along with the somewhat clunky assembly of instrumental vignettes. This time around, Dogtablet has managed to hone the overall tonality on Pearldrop Blue to create a more cohesive atmosphere, the different voices more evocative of different facets of a single entity.
Track list:

  1. Star
  2. Five Broken Straws
  3. Fortitude
  4. Every Little Lie
  5. Heavy Gravity
  6. Confusion is the Hole
  7. You & Me
  8. Stagger & Fall
  9. The Clock & The Box
  10. A Song of Regret
  11. Start to Fade
  12. Blue

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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