15 October 2010

Do While - do while (2010, Wigflip)

Coming from Baltimore, MD, Do While is the solo project of John Somers, who is the brother of Alex Somers (Parachutes and Jónsi & Alex).

This is his first album an the works of other artists like Windy & Carl, My Bloody Valentine ("Loveless"),  Grouper ("Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill"), Oval ("94 Diskont"), Pia Fraus or Belong appear as obvious reference points.

It is apparently his first release but informations are scarce and this debut album seems already out of print. But one thing is sure, without the "Loveless" album of My Bloody Valentine, "Do While" would not exist or could not sound like that,  because, often he tries to reproduce similar textures and atmospheres but without the melodic and rhythmic dimensions,  keeping only the floating ambient shoe-gaze exuberant dimension. In fact it's not so different from what Belong tried to do on their "Colorloss" EP but his results are more succesful.

While not complying with shoegazer standards, Do While on the other side doesn't fit with the ambient scene totally, and explore a kind of median way producing soundscape songs with whispered and shoegaze processed vocals and guitars, and ambient waves of sound. There is a sense of abstraction and minimalism too, which could be reflected by the name of the project as "Dowhile" is also the major track on Oval's "94 Diskont" album. 

There is something strongly luxuriant an lush, while avoiding messiness which is an exploit. You got the idea of something slowly unfolding then folding again, like a meadow covered with dandelions during spring, with their flowers opening at the beginning of the day and closing at the end. It is just like if a meditation would bring you to an ecstatic, almost mystical experience and then return you to your starting point. 

At its most melodic point, "I know you said", Do While starts to look like a close cousin of Pia Fraus. Sometimes the sound is really dense, sparkling, crystal clear and exuberant, like on the impressive "Dancing on a diamond river". On "A candy coated slow down" everything become blurry exactly like this moment when you fall asleep and consciousness become diluted. "Balloons" is almost angelic and you can feel there a personal implication in the vocals, an assumed melancholy which could potentially become more pregnant later in his discography.

The first composition, "One2" sounds like a Windy and Carl track under high My Bloody Valentine influence, "Balloon Cloud" is disorientating like walking inside heavy fog and "At the Edge of a drifting dawn" translates perfectly the red glow of sunlight at dawn and how it can pierce you and transport you emotionally with it's purity and sense of infinity.

I'm really curious to discover how John Somers's musical expression will evolve on future recordings because there are a few strong notes I can feel underneath this record which could emerge and bloom. 

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