Best track: mutual occultation
click album cover to listen
Three years on from both his solo 2016 album 'City I' and his collaboration with Ogre on a complete rescore (i.e. reimagining) of 'The Night of The Living Dead' soundtrack, Dallas Campbell's new long (erm short) player 'EIV' sees DC at his most John Carpenter. The album is saturated with sonic allusions to 'The Thing' and other body horror sci-fi, and borrows the filmic tropes of thumping digital beats married with clear and anthemic lead synth melodies.
The names of the tracks also betray a love of late 70s and early 80s space gore fests, like the standout 'Mutual Occultation', 'Duct Tape Flamethrower' and 'Not At All Human'.
The best way to digest this album is like a movie, letting each mini chapter steer you through whatever imagined world your mind has conjured - and get lost in its short but cinematic universe. Especially brief, episodic, numbers like 'The Specimen Emerges' and 'Red Shift' almost feel like lost classic Doctor Who scene scores, remixed by Gregorio Franco.
If there is one fundamental frustration with the album it's that Dallas doesn't see his stronger tracks through to a satisfying end point, which is great if it really were incidental scene music. However, I would love to have seen the the faux disco of 'Untethered Dimensional Lighthouse' morph into a seven minute intergalactic dancefloor stomper; alas it prematurely fades out at a little over two. 'Unusual Tectonics' also shows real promise and I wanted it to 'go large'.
Before we know it 'Experiment Terminated' rounds off our story, with an understated - if atmospheric - outro, crescendoing then shooting off mysteriously into the distant stars around the three minute mark.
All in all, 'EIV' is a brilliantly brief and well-crafted homage to star-based screamers...and maybe Dallas is teasing us with a mini opera before hitting us with his real opus. As a palate cleanser it definitely refreshes. This listener is still salivating for the main event. 6.5/10 Rob Dyson
a visual representation of the album: