Album: DEXTRO – Consequence Music (Gronland CDGRON50 2007)

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Consequence Music has been lazily compared to fellow Scots Boards Of Canada in many quarters. Dextro’s Ewan Mackenzie is Glasgow based and produces analogue based instrumental electronic music of a melancholy hue, but there is a world of difference between the two acts. Where BOC are fuzzily muted and nostalgic, Dextro’s music is more muscular. Mackenzie is a sometime drummer with the experimental metal band Snowblood and it’s the live percussion on this record that gives it a sturdy backbone. With guitar and bass flourishes also added, at times Consequence Music comes across more as a psychedelic post-rock record than an exercise in electronica.

There are plenty of highlights and a great deal of variety, but ultimately the album functions best as a sixty minute entity rather than as a collection of individual tunes. There are moments of calm, moments of disquiet and some quite exhilarating epic passages. “El Viento” comes across as the spawn of mid nineties Warp acts and Sigur Rós, and elsewhere there are echoes of early Aphex Twin (especially the sampled child on “Atman”), Bleep and Booster (“Carotenoid” reminds me a little of their wonderful “Genki”), Susumu Yokota and especially Italian maestros Port Royal. If you like your electronic music instilled with some human warmth and far more substance than your average ambient noodlings then this superb album can’t be recommended highly enough.

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