Gridfailure & Megalophobe – Dendritic (Review)

Gridfailure & MegalophobeThis is a collaborative release by two US one-man experimental artists; Gridfailure and Megalophobe.

As I always say when I encounter anything involving Gridfailure – this isn’t usually my cup of tea, but Gridfailure always deliver the goods, (here, here, here, and here).

But wait, this time we have a collaboration with an unknown quantity, (to me at least); Megalophobe. Maybe the stellar track record enjoyed by Gridfailure so far will finally be ended?

No, don’t be silly.

Dendritic’s music is rich and textured, and although it contains darker elements, this is shades lighter than the nihilistic despair and apocalyptic nightmarescapes that are Gridfailure’s normal hunting grounds. It is, however, still very good indeed.

This is ambient, experimental drone/noise, crafted with obvious care and a willingness to explore sound, shape, and feeling without any preconceived notions of what the end result should be. Indeed, one can almost imagine the sounds on Dendritic continuing to morph and evolve as you listen to it, like some dynamic work of art that refuses to be captured into a static recording.

Due to this, the album has the feeling of something ephemeral and fleeting, as if once you’ve listened to it, it won’t be there anymore, and in order to experience its transportative, transformative qualities it must be reborn anew into different forms.

There are some lengthy explorations on this album, although these are interspersed with some shorter, ‘standard length’ tracks. Either way, they take the form of engaging soundscapes that provoke the listener to imagine different scenes and dioramas, each one a personal experience according to the individual imaginations of the listener.

Much like the last Gridfailure release Hostile Alchemy, there are also a plethora of different guests on this release, all of which provide something different to the music, be this vocals, trumpet, field recordings, guitar, etc.

Each track has its own identity, although all flow together to create a greater picture of a work at large. A lot of the material here is soothing in nature, despite its sometimes atypical veneer, and the enhanced sounds seem to wash over your consciousness like waves of liquid static.

Dendritic is a moving target of ambient art. I highly suggest you spend some time absorbing its sounds; each time you’ll discover something different, some deeper truth about the nature of things, only to have it slip away before you can fully grasp it. In this way Dendritic keeps you returning for more, as there’s always something fresh to experience.

Start your quest for truth now.

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