Colleen

Captain of None

Colleen has, for her sixth album release, pulled out all the stops stylistically, but not all the holes in her ship. Marrying dub with electroacoustic rhythmic landscapes that softly jut and perpetually propel each other, the music is a clean endeavour into the foundations of Cecile Schott, aka Colleen’s sound since her debut “Everyone Alive Wants Answers” in 2003. Softly paced and liquid-like in its ambiental function, “Captain Of None” is ready to become captain of nothing.

“Captain Of None” is characterised by the art of the dub loop, syncing bass with counterweight delicate melodies and vocal harmonies that decidedly undertow the material. Dub being a fissured exercise more than anything else at times – pitting a pressure point between two walls and maximising the circumference edge. That’s the thing with diameters and dynamics – one small hit of something can have a ginormous impact. While there are no Tubby tornado basslines, or ‘Scratch’ Perry wall-bouncing sine poltergeists, there is a solid spirit to the low frequency. Most of the record sounds like it’s suspended in air.

The context of the LP is framed in exploration more than abstraction. This being a pinnacle of the creative advancing of musicians in their later careering: from music, to sonic art, to sound, and all that transcribes as aural stream. The absence of Schott’s violin and traditional instrument soundset, in fractions, is divided by an introduction of viola de gamba, gamelan sounds that transcendentally introspect the diameter of their source (artist career, album release progress) and form this into something worth hearing.

Highlight “Captain Of None” as closer capitalises on Cecile’s lovely way with vocal tone and ambiguity in lyrical thematic. “I dreamt I was awake (inside a dream) where I awoke and became captain of none (and nothing)”, for instance – it’s all just too far beyond a simple flight of fancy and has pertience over the whole palette of history, attitude and direction prefacing and being concluded by the release. These overarching aches and pains being removed from view earlier in the LP – take “Lighthouse” with its absolving into unconscious movement devices – paints a quintessentially foreign spicing of British jazz and standardisation of reggae as pop music – heretofore dub – since the early 1950s. Dub-nificent.

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