A long time ago, a friend of mine told me he would take evening walks with his Walkman. (Remember those?) Stress-relief, he described it. The clean quiet of the night mixed with the crashing solitude of, say, the Smiths created a relaxing aura. I soon followed suit, thinking I would enjoy the welcome release of embracing blackness and evening headphones. But even this simple exercise required a certain art. Part of it was contingent upon walking location (living by a freeway made this difficult), time of night (ditto, the later the better), weather conditions (uh, pouring rain was hardly ideal). And, of course, the other part was music selection. For example, South Central Cartel? A tad anxious. Benny Carter? Much better. Lush tone and spare phrasing were the keys to loosening up a tightly wound mind.
No surprise, then, that Mike Boo describes “Vibrations Transcend Space and Time,” a contemplative track on Dunhill Drone Committee, as “something to bump while I walk my dog.” An album composed entirely on turntables, a mixer and crates of records, Boo’s latest may draw comparisons with the disparate styles of D-Styles (with whom he performs as part of Gunkhole) and Kid Koala. However, where these two excel in technique and humor (scatological and child-like, respectively), Boo instead deals mostly with mood. Dunhill Drone Committee jumps off from its cover: a dark wisp of thoughts wafting upward into an amorphous blob.
Free from form, Maestro Boo wands ephemeral shapes out of clouds by weaving snippets of records and sounds together with seamless grace. Opening to the beat of reverse “Paul Revere” drums, stretched strings and crabby winds, “Curdled” uncurls thoughts at the speed of molasses. The texture of each composition is thick and calloused with dusty sounds, but their pace and length is relaxed and digestible. The album is never drowning or overwhelming; rather, it’s so subtle that the transitions are hardly noticeable. “Oaksterdam Goo” plays a playful flute and drizzles of scratches over the closing credits of Enter the 36 Chambers before applause makes way for “Pathway,” a stuttering piano and bass routine that guides the album back into the shadows. With such perfect poetic license, Dunhill Drone Committee becomes an engulfing listen and an otherworldly escape ideal for Brother Ray’s right time.
Alpha Pup Records Web site