Know Your Product
Daytime: Serendipity, Co La Dial: Dial Tone Earth
Published: June 1, 2011
Dial Tone Earth
Two tracks, 14-ish minutes apiece. The music is minimal—or even thin—ambience in one of its most pure states of softly waving, if not so much swelling, cool-sheet-pleasant sound, more along the lines of Tim Hecker’s softer side or any number of Kranky-type things. Ambient Eno, in other words. Daytime, the solo project of Open Space founder Neal Reinalda, feels a bit tentative here, and that’s what holds the release back from being great. It’s good and certainly worth its $5, but sometimes—on both songs—it feels like certain parts are just passing a sonic baton, like neck-tingle electronic tone trading for slightly percussive burble in this particular way that makes you think Serendipity could actually be subdivided into a few more discrete tracks. But when it’s on, it’s on: A fluttery synth planted softly in “Blindspot” seems superfluous or maybe even out of place, until it’s drowned by uneasy and just-building tones. It’s a gentle and sly twist of tension that at the very least lets you know that there’s far more in Reinalda’s head than just fucking around on a laptop.
Meanwhile, Co Lo, Ecstatic Sunshine guy Matt Papich minus the guitar, feels very conspicuously like a guy fucking around on a laptop. Which isn’t actually bad on his Dial Tone Earth and in a weird way almost seems to be the point. Its reggaeton/reggae/“island grooves” source material is processed and looped in such a way that it’s always calling attention to its very laptopness, and its appropriation (which oddly enough feels more honest than a lot of the Diplo-y global crate-digging). The record, which feels rather more like a long mix than a record proper, is an all-around comfortable thing, summery in the sense of how we imagine summer to be in the winter, 80 degrees all the time with soft sunlight that feels not quite real. And, indeed, this is a not-quite-real or dreamstate rerendering of its source tunes via loops, layers, and tons of reverb. Its source sounds are seldom twisted in any way you’d consider extreme or weird. Oddly enough, more than Daytime’s classic ambience, Dial Tone Earth is just something you might like to have on—preferably way, way late on some summer night with a small group of friends and a patio. (Michael Byrne)
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