Reviewed: D. Glare – Style Synonymous With Technique [Zona Watusa]

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.


D. Glare – Style Synonymous With Technique – Zona Watusa

Style Synonymous With Technique is another ‘blatantly honest’-EP from Dominic Clare. Splendidly crafted, the original angle of conceiving the idea and producing the tracks is indeed D. Glare’s style being synonymous with his technique. Normally tending to be very factual in his track titles, in this case we can spot the sadness and irony of the backstory. The album is very personal in its critique on our society, one succumbing to the negative symptoms of neoliberalism. Urban phenomena such as gentrification, globalization and even the modern panopticon of CCTV camera’s are being discussed through the track names, leaving a weighty impression even before embarking on the musical journey. The mastering of the album is also done by Dominic himself, proving again that he is technically skilled and willing to be intensely involved with his own work.

Debuting with this daring piece of art on the new Dutch label Zona Watusa, he immediately makes a statement for future releases from Rayo-60, Matto Frank and several others, which off the record look very promising. Max Thijssen, also known as DJ Watusawa came into contact with Dominic Clare via his Chrononautz project, programming them on the SOTU 2017 festival.

The sides of the tape are best listened to in one run, similarly to how it was recorded. This way you can completely immerse yourself in the experience. The listener is encouraged to figure out where a certain track ends, if that even serves as a motivation at all. Side A opens with an ominous stretched out collision between voices and metallic layers, snatching our throat and controlling our breathing pattern. A piano melody seeps in (around 5 min) and joins the rather expressionist coupling of sounds, bringing about a sense of fleeting memory, reminiscent of Leyland Kirby’s work under various aliases. The percussion instruments hint at a time passing, a journey that is about to begin as the musical atmosphere tightens around itself in a first climax. The release is given when yet another time the stretched field recording takes over, meets a set of synthesized samples and flute patterns, almost questioning the absurdity and frailness of human life. A wonky percussion reappears and meddles in with a rather oriental-sounding synth melody, as if we are urged to travel along and not lose track of D. Glare’s thought.

Loops with fresh air take over, calm gusts of wind, pale blue shadows, a brief moment of clearness in the chaos portrayed. An authoritative, godlike voice explains to the listener what style exactly is leading to the point of the album name. Yet, as we get the point, the voice drowns again away in cold chaos. Drones and washed away voices again open the B-side, but more in a relaxed wait-and-see attitude. The individual tracks are better recognizable on this side. The surroundings are taken in and the listener is pushed back and forth between second hand emotions. A careful, but in a way careless, apathetic drum fades out the track to the calm droning of rain. Clearing the atmosphere, the tape goes forth in a upbeat, again absurd saxophone until it indeed ends in a romantic epilogue, reminiscent of a radio recording in hopeful teenage years.

It is understood that the intensity of the album does not lay in a certain honest harshness, yet due to its pace and layered emotion. Style Synonymous With Technique shows a confidence in a future through discussing the turmoil of the past.