Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones


Written by: DR on 30/07/2012 17:48:23

It seems uninteresting releases from Denovali Records just don't happen. Another feather in their cap is Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones who, like their label mates The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation and The Kilimanjaro Jazz Ensemble, are a modern, experimental 'jazz' outfit, with a take on the genre as though they are writing a film score. As such, it's not necessarily songs they write, but compositions. Make no mistake, this is music as art form more than anything else.

While modern touches are incorporated in the electric guitars, ambient electronics and echoing keyboards, this is an album deeply rooted in jazz music with its snaking horns, minimalistic drum patterns and enchanting, soulful vocals. Because of the minimalist approach, there's a staggering amount of space throughout the soundscapes. This space envelops the vocals and instruments, making efforts such as "Eux Exquis Acrostole", "Une Petit Cellier" and the phenomenally apocalyptic "Mon Tragique Chartreuse" utterly harrowing experiences.

Occasionally, the vocals don't really add that much to the compositions. The constant cries that persist throughout "Ma Insaisissable Abri" are more of a distraction than another layer upon the cinematic tale being told, which is a shame because the enclosed electronic soundscape underneath is one of the more unique of the album. It's a similar story with "Elle Agreable Rendez-Vous De Chasse"; the music itself is fantastic, especially the juxtaposing layers of distorted and clean guitars, but the "dum, dum, dum, dum..." chanting seems to have no purpose, and wears old quickly.

In the grand scheme of this album's ambitious concept, however, when you have your headphones locked in tightly and are sinking slowly in the world of "Metamanoir", these minor complaints are only ever that: Minor. By focusing more on the subtleties and the smaller details of the writing and production, the Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones have managed to create something simultaneously minimalistic and massive. While it has its flaws, and is perhaps slightly too epic at an hour long, nobody can deny how wonderfully constructed "Metamanoir" is.


Download: Eux Exquis Acrostole, Mon Tragique Chartreuse
For The Fans of: The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, The Kilimanjaro Jazz Ensemble
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 11.11.2011
Denovali Records

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