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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

DASK: Insecta [Extended] (2018)

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

“In its many ambiospherical phases, this album hides some real jewels of true Berlin School style which prove that DASK was resolutely one of the beautiful finds of 2017”

1 Arthropod 13:43 2 Colony 7:29 3 Insecta 11:57 4 Biomass 9:56 5 Overwinter 9:19 6 Prevernal 9:12 7 Growth 2:10 8 Emergence 9:10 DASK Music (DDL 72:55) (V.F.) (Ambient and sequencer-based Berlin School)

It's after the making of Electron Utopia, appeared on SynGate Records at the beginning of 2017, that INSECTA [EXTENDED] began to grow in the mind of DASK. There was still enough music to create another album, but not enough for today's usual standard. And brick by brick, David Marsh added compositions which were going to nest on an album inspired by the very noticed decline of the insects' population since 1970. We speak here about a 60 % order. The big existential question of DASK was to know the amount of minutes of music that he had to dedicate to this album! From where the adjective Extended. Initially idealized for a duration of more or less 45 minutes, INSECTA [EXTENDED] took around 30 minutes to the meter with an exploratory ambient music. So divided between titles of ambient elements, ambient tones and a sequencer-based style Berlin School music, this album hides some real jewels which prove that DASK was resolutely one of the good finds of 2017. It's with sharp-edge wings, which cut out a wall of synth waves, and murmurs of insects that Arthropod begins this last adventure of the England musician. A wind-driven tumult knocks down these first elements with very oxidized waves which scrape this surreptitious décor where beats a first step of the sequencer. The winds persist with a dark Redshiftian coldness when that this lost step awakens its small rhythmic community to make quiver our walls with a heavy and black rhythm, as that coming from a Moog. This rhythm skips after the point of 4 minutes. Dancing with another line of sequences of which the sound pearls as a motionless drop of water, the rhythm without structure of Arthropod tries to structure a uniform carcass which eventually is limping like a majestic Berlin School. Majestic, I say? Certainly, because David Marsh lays here an evolutionary structure and of which the homogeneity depends on what surrounds it. This rhythm, heavy and lively, continues to spread its drive among sharpened strata which come to nibble it from time to time, when it borrows near the finale, be around the 11th minute, a harmonious approach which makes very Düsseldorf School, very Kraftwerk. Brilliant! Arthropod is simply masterful and worth at itself the purchase of INSECTA [EXTENDED]. Colony drags us in the underground passages, and they are legions in this album, where insects establish their brotherhood. DASK mixes electronic layers with organic effects on synth tints which go from the opaque black to crystal-clear lines as sharp as the sting of a scorpion. And if Arthropod is simply joyous, we can say the same about the splendid Insecta and its lively rhythm which oscillates among very cool percussive effects and other sequences which sizzle by offering a strange chant from invertebrate living beings. A chant which switches shape for a nice fluty effect. This is another great Berlin School sequencer-driven style which backs the purchase of this 5th album from DASK. Afterward, David Marsh explores the ambient model with Steve Roach's fragrances which fit to an insectivorous fauna. Mixing the tones and the dark waves with opalescent cracks, DASK plunges us into a universe of tiny creatures where all the ideas find roots behind a stream of layers with colors, effects and drone tones full of contrasts. After a crushing introductory heaviness, Biomass finds refuge in a clearing where the songs of insects irradiate the initial blackness of the title. If we like Steve Roach's Immersion Series, a title like Overwinter will its way to seduce you. I could add Prevernal, except that some more bright meditative elements decorate its finale. Built on the same model, but from end to start, the short Growth brings us in a finale multicolored by drones of all kinds and of all the colors that is Emergence. This long phase of ambient music, we speak all the same about more than 40 minutes of music here, can scare off fans of an EM concentrated on the sequencer model. I understand it because it's not my cup of tea either! But my curiosity, and doubtless the fact that I got this album as a promo in order to review it, make me heard a tonal flora as much attractive as the one of Shane Morris or yet that of Memory Geist. On the other hand, the first 40 minutes of this album will warm your ears because DASK offers us the best of the Berlin School style, sequenced or/and ambient. Sylvain Lupari (January 5th, 2018) *****

Available at DASK webshop

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