One of the things that continues to strike me about the ambient and electronic genre is that for a sector of the musical world as fairly narrow in appeal as it is (excusing, for a moment, club/dance music) it’s quite deep. As I make my own way through it as a reviewer, I constantly come across musicians who, while new to me, have been toiling away at it for a while and in many cases have built a respectable following. Then, having found them for myself and if I like them, I set about scooping up the stuff I’ve missed, feeling somewhat silly that I missed them in the first place.
Such is the case with Dan Pound. Upon first listening to his 2010 release, Interlace, my initial reaction was, “Why haven’t I heard of this guy before?” Then I went to his web site and saw the list of about 35 releases and I felt even more like a dummy. With that first listen, however, Pound launched into my consciousness as an artist to whom I needed to pay attention.
Interlace starts out with a strong spacemusic feel–dribbling bits of electronics, solar wind effects, bass rumbles. It touches on darkness (the first track’s title, “Fade to Black,” might have been a clue) but possesses an interesting expectancy–a sense of impending light, if you will. There comes a moment in the third track, “Rare Refraction,” where the meaning of the CD title suddenly becomes clear–along with Pound’s intent. The track begins with piano over synth washes, curling down into a rhythmic electronic tangle balanced on a twanging beat. Out of this rises a flute, blowing a strong Native American-influenced song. Here is the interlace, the point where old meets new, ancient meets modern, organic meets technical to achieve a wholeness. The effect is enhanced by its coming after a solid half-hour of pure electronic worldcrafting. We have been brought deep inside ourselves to be reminded whence we came–and then we glide back out with “Point of the Laser,” where rich pads give way to a sequencer pulse and tidal-pull waveforms. From here Pound keeps things modern with the glitchy feel of “Shadow Screen” and the complex angles and whispers of “Inside the Crystal.” Through it all, though, the memory of that moment, that brief glimpse through the gap between worlds, remains. It’s quite a trip. Interlace is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
Available from Dan Pound’s web site.