MCDOWALL, DREW

LAMINA (DAIS RECORDS)

MCDOWALL, DREW - LAMINA 158213
Format:
6 CD
Release:
07.07.2023
Label:
DAIS RECORDS
Kat.-Nr.:
158213
Barcode:
0683950565760
This long-gestating box set of Scottish electronic pioneerDrew McDowall's solowork takes its title from a technical term meaning 'plate' or 'layer' most often usedin contexts either geological or anatomical:Lamina.

He speaks of the compilingprocess similarly: "Digging into my archives felt like a mix of psychoanalysis andarchaeology-uncovering buried things." The six CD collection includes expandededitions of his four most recent Dais LPs (Collapse, 2015;Unnatural Channel,2017;The Third Helix, 2018; andAgalma, 2020), alongside a disc of rarities(Undulations and Aberrations) and one of live performances (Entanglement).Taken together, it presents a definitive portrait of McDowall's cryptic, questingartistry, forever seeking "that sense of stepping over a threshold."The bonus material in particular is revelatory,broadening both the context andcomplexity of its respective full-length.

"Palisades," aCollapseouttake, patientlybuilds a mantric throb into a rippling cascade of head-nodding cosmic noise, likesome glowing shrapnel splintered off the rest of the record.

"Tell Me The Name(Alt Version)," a reworking of the eerie opener ofUnnatural Channel, embodiesMcDowall's goal for the compilation as "a window into the process of iteration."More emaciated and reptilian than the original mix, the track shivers andshimmers in a reverie of alien melancholy, a corrupted file of someinterdimensional hymn.

"False Memory Demo," fromThe Third Helixsessions,showcases the textural trial-and-error behind these compositions-a wobblycollage of seasick scrapings, sine waves, and tectonic circuitry, tested like sourcematerial in a lab.

Similarly, an unreleasedAgalmavault cut, "Cest," captures theartist at the brink of breakthrough-a time-stretched drone traced in muffledvoices and phasered haze dilates across five lysergic minutes.

It's the sound of apalette being refined, poised for deployment.The fifth disc spans two decades of stray recordings, from 90's studioexperiments to lost comp tracks to sold-out tapes, modular oddities, and rhythmicsketches.

Sequencedchronologically, it demonstrates the zig-zagging evolutionof McDowall's sound, colored by formative yearscollaborating inCoilbutextrapolated into freshly forking paths: industrial dub, icy downtempo, tonaldevotionals, hexed gamelan, interstitial murk.

The suite of live sets, too, isessential listening. He describes his inclusion criteria as performances that fuse"the sacredand the feral, like you're in a cathedral but the floor is dirt." All fourrecordings are rich and unhinged: aspiraling, seething, somber voyage for AsceticHouse and Mount Analog's's dark experimental series, Nuit Noire; a jagged,dissonant excerpt fromhisCollapserelease show at New York venue Alphaville; afractured, psychedelic rendering of "Agalma III" for Root Radio's Exist Festival livestream; and a delirious, magisterial take of "Agalma I" for theAgalmarelease partyat Strange Editions produced by Quo Vadis (his ambition for which was "to mirrorthe pandemic-related ontological feeling of being suspended in mid-air").Despite its duration,Laminais a leanly plotted survey, devoid of dead weight.

Fewartists as omnivorous as McDowall are alsoas self-editing-his standards arerigorous, and revealing: "While working, I'm always changing things, hacking themaway, abandoning them when they don't work.

When listening back I'm looking fora sense of awe and wonder. Otherworldly magic. If I'm nothearing that, I don't seethe point."
 
  • Tracklisting
  • 1.1. COLLAPSE (EXPANDED EDITION)
  • 2.1. UNNATURAL CHANNEL (EXPANDED EDITION)
  • 3.1. THE THIRD HELIX (EXPANDED EDITION)
  • 4.1. AGALMA (EXPANDED EDITION)
  • 5.1. UNDULATIONS AND ABERRATIONS
  • 6.1. ENTANGLEMENTS