| Artist: Goddakk|
CD Title: Dos Dalen
Label: Mtje Sight & Sound Spectacular
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Goddakk is the solo side project of Martin Newman (best known for his other projects, including The Pulling Kiss, Bur Monter, and Plumerai). He bills Goddakk as a "cinematic industrial folk" project. After listening to this 6-song release of lo-fi experimental ethereal soundscapes, however, that self-description seems more than slightly off base. The third track on Dos Dalen, "Unfortunates", is about as "folk" as the album gets, and that's about as folk as Marilyn Manson or Tricky (the only similar artist mentioned on Goddakk's press sheet that this EP comes anywhere close to sounding like).
Most of the tracks here consist of layers of looped riffs, samples, and sounds (seemingly instruments and samples run through a guitar effects pedal with a 1 or 2 second delay set to loop indefinitely). Throw in some ambient guitar noise, moody synth backgrounds here and there, and lightly distorted vocals run through enough tremolo to become pretty much consistently unintelligible and you have the picture. All of these elements then come together, melting into and fading out of the mix, to create moody intertwining melodies. The sound quality isn't really perfect, with some songs (most notably "Your Guilty Prize") having very noticeable clipping (a problem familiar to most people who have worked with live sound processing), but that doesn't detract from the EP too much. Dos Dalen also has a very lo-fi sound and vibe, but that often works for the album instead of against it.
The two tracks that don't follow the general noise formula of the other four are "Unfortunates" and "I Crucify You". The first, perhaps my favorite track on the CD, is something of a moody, plodding guitar-based track (using a harmonic riff to great effect) that falls somewhere between Tricky and Lydia Lunch territory. The second, which closes the album, is something of a beautiful ethereal rock track based on two chords and filled out with vibrant keyboard strings. It also has the most discernable vocals of the six tracks.
The four experimental tracks on the CD (especially "Human Beings", which I believe previously appeared on the Pulling Kiss CD Lovers and Other Monsters) are generally fairly good and display a large amount of emotional depth, while the two more musical tracks hint at the true depth and ability of Newman's songwriting. While fairly lo-fi, somewhat flawed, and probably not everybody's cup of tea, this EP is nevertheless a fairly decent independent debut that showcases both Newman's experimental leanings and more concrete songwriting skills. It will be interesting to see where Goddakk goes from here.
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