Posts Tagged ‘Dummy’

Dummy "Mandatory Enjoyment" black vinyl

Stereolab comparisons may be mandatory but the debut album from this drony Los Angeles. band featuring former members of Wildhoney moves beyond the bachelor pad,  After releasing two cassette EP’s in 2020 (on Popwig and Born Yesterday respectively), Dummy’s debut full-length album “Mandatory Enjoyment” arrives via Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records. Employing pummelling guitars and celestial ambience within the same breath, the band folds a myriad of reference points into their drone-pop style. Influence from ’60s melodicism and ’90s UK noise pop can be found woven in with inspiration from spiritual jazz, Japanese new age, and Italian minimalism.

Dummy dodges the brooding, dark, dramatic tropes of contemporary “artistic” music often found in punk, experimental, and electronic, instead insisting on joyous and euphoric sonic palettes. They refuse to be artistically stagnant, continuously shifting their approach to writing across 12 tracks. Shaped by performances around Los Angeles in 2019, songs like “Daffodils” and “Fissured Ceramics” feature relentless driving energy and ample psychedelic noise. Elsewhere, Dummy counterbalances the aggression with meditative synthscapes focused on sound design and studio experimentation, like on the motorik “X-Static Blanket”. Finally, centerpiece “H.V.A.C.” and the album’s final track, “Atonal Poem”, seek to synthesize these two poles, offering multi-part journeys through uncharted sonic territory.

Baltimore band Wildhoney have been dormant for a while now — they are missed — but guitarists Joe Trainor and Nathan O’Dell are still playing together in Los Angeles band Dummy alongside Alex Ewell (who played on Wildhoney’s Naive Castle EP) and Emma Maatman (Kent State). Like Wildhoney, Dummy have shoegazey elements to their sound, but they more directly pull from drony psych and komisch, be it Cluster, Neu! or The United States of America.

Single chords are jammed upon for extended periods while vintage combo organs and synths hum and gurgle. Dense, ethereal harmonies mingle with fuzzed out guitars and jazzy/motorik drumming. Melodies are sweet but cut with white noise. If all this makes Dummy sound like a certain group known for Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, well they would probably be the first to admit the influence, from the sonics (see “Daffodils,” “Fissured Ceramics”) to the song titles that seem to have come from a Duophonic Refrigerator Magnet Poetry set. (Does that exist? It should.) But they are very good at it and, following last year’s two EPs, Mandatory Enjoyment finds the band staking out their own corner of the universe, with tracks like the beautiful “Atonal Poem” and the tripped-out “X-Static Blanket” pointing to intoxicating new directions in which to head.

Tune in now, but stay tuned, too

released October 22, 2021

Dummy: Alex, Emma, Joe & Nathan.

DUMMY – ” Atonal Poem “

Posted: October 15, 2021 in MUSIC
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Dummy atonal poem

Dummy will release their new album “Mandatory Enjoyment” via Trouble in Mind Records. The group has shared a new video for the hypnotic album highlight “Atonal Poem.” Where much of the album finds the group turning up the fuzz or creating a more layered shoegaze and noise pop sound, “Atonal Poem” is more serene and soothing, which the group attributes to being “obsessed with new age music.”

In a statement, Alex from Dummy says, “We were listening to a lot of very peaceful music played on malleted instruments. It’s kind of like, wouldn’t it be funny to try to write a song like this? Why not break the rules? Why not challenge the expectations, especially within yourself? We wanted to create something uninhibited and untethered to convention. We had no idea where it would take us, but this track was the result. In the mythology of the record, this song represents the visitor’s journey home, far away from the atrophy and decay of life on Earth.”

The band has also shared an influences playlist on Spotify, featuring songs from Silver Apples, Mariah, Antena, Sun Ra, Stereolab and more. It’s an eclectic blend of music, with some influences that might not be so obvious on first listen.

The group said in a statement, “Here’s a playlist to accompany our new album, “Mandatory Enjoyment.” We tried to make it as honest as possible; some of these tracks are directly referenced on our album. Others inspired production or aesthetic choices.”

Taken from the band’s debut album “Mandatory Enjoyment”, out October 22nd, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records (www.troubleinmindrecs.com)

Los Angeles band Dummy refuses to slow down. After releasing two cassette EP’s in 2020 (on Popwig and Born Yesterday respectively), Dummy’s debut full-length album arrives via Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records. Employing pummelling guitars and celestial ambience within the same breath, the band folds a myriad of reference points into their drone-pop style. Influence from ’60s melodicism and ’90s UK noise pop can be found woven in with inspiration from spiritual jazz, Japanese new age, and Italian minimalism.

Dummy dodges the brooding, dark, dramatic tropes of contemporary “artistic” music often found in punk, experimental, and electronic, instead insisting on joyous and euphoric sonic palettes. They refuse to be artistically stagnant, continuously shifting their approach to writing across 12 tracks. Shaped by performances around Los Angeles in 2019, songs like “Daffodils” and “Fissured Ceramics” feature relentless driving energy and ample psychedelic noise. Elsewhere, Dummy counterbalances the aggression with meditative synthscapes focused on sound design and studio experimentation, like on the motorik “X-Static Blanket”. Finally, centerpiece “H.V.A.C.” and the album’s final track, “Atonal Poem”, seek to synthesize these two poles, offering multi-part journeys through uncharted sonic territory.

In contrast to blissed-out instrumentation, Dummy’s sardonic lyricism examines “the burden of modern life, consumerism, environmental collapse, alienation, and other anxieties born out of living in this absurd moment in history”. Interior design, marine pollution, the psychology of commercial architecture, and nuclear testing are all featured subjects. Dummy’s restless creativity keeps them moving ever-forward, continuously challenging themselves and pushing their sound into exciting and exhilarating places. This is – as the album title suggests – “Mandatory Enjoyment”. 

Releases October 22nd, 2021

Dummy: Alex, Emma, Joe & Nathan.

Does it still count as keeping it simple if the one thing you’re trying to achieve is actually pretty complicated? Dummy’s music suggests that, actually, it does not. The Los Angeles band’s mission statement could fit on a bumper sticker – fuse avant-garde musical elements with the building blocks of guitar-based pop music – but its Tilt-A-Whirl execution on their debut album bleeds beyond those borders into something maximalist and wonkily thrilling.

Melding the driving momentum of krautrock with the textural mayhem of Can, the grubby eccentricity of the Velvets and the gilt-edged melodies of the Byrds, “Mandatory Enjoyment” follows up a brace of cassette releases by doing something different all the time. We caught up with band members Nate and Joe – who split guitar duties (Jazzmaster and Jaguar respectively) with vocals and keys – to pull at a few threads.

More goodies this year from the ranks of Trouble in Mind Records. The label announced this morning that they’ve up Los Angeles. pop combo Dummy. The band’s had a couple of well-received tapes out in the last couple of years and they make the jump to a debut LP blowing through the vernal psych-pop gardens that nurtured Broadcast, Vanishing Twin, and Stereolab while stumbling the noise pop alley for a tussle with Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters (the band, not the album) and Snapper.

The first cut from the album skews a bit more towards the psych-pop impulses, letting an effervescent beat push the song along while overdriven keys and silken vocals do the heavy lifting. The band is channelling their influences in a way that feels refreshing — a glorious head-on collision of pop and pummel that explodes with caffeinated colour. Mandatory Enjoyment is out October 22nd.

In contrast to blissed-out instrumentation, Dummy’s sardonic lyricism examines “the burden of modern life, consumerism, environmental collapse, alienation, and other anxieties born out of living in this absurd moment in history”. Interior design, marine pollution, the psychology of commercial architecture, and nuclear testing are all featured subjects. Dummy’s restless creativity keeps them moving ever-forward, continuously challenging themselves and pushing their sound into exciting and exhilarating places. This is – as the album title suggests – “Mandatory Enjoyment”. 

Releases October 22nd, 2021

Dummy: Alex, Emma, Joe & Nathan.

Taken from the band’s debut full-length album “Mandatory Enjoyment”, out October 22nd, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records

Dummy is five people in Los Angeles making music informed by motorik pulse and minimal composition like the Velvet Underground and Cluster before them. Across five tracks, experimental noise and ambient soundscapes intertwine with hypnotic drone-pop and avant-folk.

Earlier this year, Los Angeles noise-pop band Dummy shared their debut release, “Dummy EP”, via Pop Wig Records. In November, the group put out their second release, EP2, available now on cassette via Born Yesterday Records. They shared the song “Pool Dizzy”—which was the first taste of EP2. Their debut was rooted in krautrock and synth-laden noise pop, and they even threw in a foggy folk tune and an eight-minute new age-esque closer. EP2, on the other hand, leans more on hypnotic synths than driving guitars—apart from “Pool Dizzy.” The track’s throbbing beat, murky guitars and retro keyboards are rejuvenating, and their heavenly, overlapping vocals are the cherry on top. It’s the sound of droning pop euphoria.

Dummy returns five months later after “EP1” with “EP2”, their second release of 2020. Featuring a mix of screeching feedback-laden pop songs woven with non-sequitur ambient soundscapes, “EP2” sees the band further developing their drone-pop style with inspiration taken from kosmische, Japanese ambient, new age, and video game music. Recorded mostly at home using freeware and a smartphone, the six tracks forgo polished production in favour of a kaleidoscopic collage of improvisational sketches. Mixed by Joo-Joo Ashworth and mastered by Greg Obis. Available on cassette from Born Yesterday Records.

Dummy – Dummy EP2 (2020) Thursday Morning 00:00 Pool Dizzy 04:35 Nuages 07:31 Mediocre Garden 10:38 Second Contact 14:52 Prime Mover Unmoved 17:04

Exclusive: L.A. Noise Pop Band Dummy Announce <i>EP2</i>, Share New Single "Pool Dizzy"

Earlier this year, Los Angeles noise pop band Dummy shared their debut release, “Dummy EP”, via Pop Wig Records. Now the group has put out their second release “EP2”, Last month, they shared “Pool Dizzy”—the first taste of EP2. Their debut was rooted in krautrock and synth-laden noise pop, and they even threw in a foggy folk tune and an eight-minute new age-esque closer. EP2, on the other hand, leans more on hypnotic synths than driving guitars—apart from “Pool Dizzy.” The track’s throbbing beat, murky guitars and retro keyboards are rejuvenating, and their heavenly, overlapping vocals are the cherry on top. It’s the sound of droning pop euphoria.

Dummy returns five months later with “EP2”, their second release of 2020. Featuring a mix of screeching feedback-laden pop songs woven with non-sequitur ambient soundscapes, “EP2” sees the band further developing their drone-pop style with inspiration taken from kosmische, Japanese ambient, new age, and video game music. Recorded mostly at home using freeware and a smartphone, the six tracks forgo polished production in favour of a kaleidoscopic collage of improvisational sketches.

Available on cassette from Born Yesterday Records.

Dummy – Dummy EP2 Thursday Morning 00:00 Pool Dizzy 04:35 Nuages 07:31 Mediocre Garden 10:38 Second Contact 14:52 Prime Mover Unmoved 17:04