DEDEKIND CUT - American Zen 2LP
Following a strictly limited tape edition of American Zen, LEE BANNON, aka DEDEKIND CUT, links with Hospital Productions for an expanded new vinyl edition, clasping a sublime bonus single collaboration with ALEX ZHANG HUNGTAI, who's better known for his maudlin pop moniker, DIRTY BEACHES. If you like your ambient music intangible and synaesthetically olfactory, huffable... American Zen finds its center in quivering, pensive drones and fractured small sounds, but is rent with an oceanic sense of scale, deploying splashes of distant percussion, extreme panned vocal snippets, and slowly escalating harmonic space perfused by crackling radio-waves and that intangible timbre of an old TV turned on somewhere, but you can't quite pick out its location. It unfolds at a glacial pace in five parts, crossing lines/waves comparable to Chino Amobi & Rabit's ultraviolent mixtape (2015), the nostalgic Americana yearn of Torn Hawk, and even The Caretaker's hallowed ether zones; perpetually out of reach, submerged or hardly there, but feeling as though he's close, breathing quietly in the background and watching you listen. In addition to the original five tracks, including the formerly tape-only "Folsom Lake 04," you'll now also find a rare outing from Alex Zhang Hungtai infiltrating the finely graded and diaphanous silhouette of "I'll Give You The World" on the final side, serving to complement and temper Dedekind Cut's broader strokes with fluctuating microtonal infidelities and a gauzier, anaesthetizing and almost pastoral atmosphere that's a real pleasure to drift off with. Excellent stuff, perhaps the most interesting of Bannon's releases so far.