Fresh Stream

Drew McDowall — Collapse


Walking through Commonwealth Avenue on a hazy, particularly autumnal day listening to Drew McDowall’s most recent incarnation, CollapseI couldn’t help but feel a bit primal in the most exciting of ways.  Perhaps it was the peculiarity of the environment that made me feel so, however, to relate the power of McDowall’s sonic landscapes to circumstance would diminish his own ability as a sonic painter. This is his first solo album despite an impressive backlog with bands such as The Poems, Psychic TV, and most notably Coil (read, industrial–noise–heroes) whom he joined in 1994 and played with them on Astral Disaster, Musick To Play In The Dark, Worship The Glitch, among many of their best releases.

This project is, dare I hesitantly say, darker. Elaborating on the point I made about feeling primal, this work feels exactly like a disintegration of mental, physical, and emotional balance back to the simplest and most instinctual form of human consciousness. The cause of this return is left for the listener project their own narrative. Though all of this collapsing, however, it is not apocalyptic. Instead, at the core of this record there is a sense of dazzled bewilderment, as McDowall slowly rebuilds himself within this new world. “Convulse,” the penultimate track with its recurring  “I convulsed” vocal samples, deals with what can be perceived as a type of physical exorcism. The final track “Each Surface Of Night” proves the demon has been shaken out. Of all the tracks, it is the least abrasive, and as the billowing soundscape expands, a dewy synth texture ushers the listener out of McDowall’s dream. The sound is not comforting, but it is a glistening pair of eyes looking hopefully upward. It is a rebirth.

Listen to “Convulse,” streaming below. The album is available via Dais Records.

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