Dokuro: Avalon (Monotype, 2015)April 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
This Oakland-based duo has an intense, improvisatory sound blending electric cello, vocals, synths, and electronic manipulation. Has some really intense Roly Porter/Emptyset-type moments, especially “23”, which combines power electronics bursts and layers of haunted vocals. “Aazaan” comes close to a sort of mystical late-period Coil aura. “Backbeat” slips into a sputtering beat along with ghostly vocals, and it ends up in a wash of static. “Nachtgestalten” and “Watermarks” both have heavy, ominous cello bowing. “The Final Journey” starts out with rhythmic static washes and gorgeous cello melodies, and it eventually explodes into a fast stream of colorful sparks. This album was recorded during a European tour, and it definitely has an in-the-moment feel, but the songs are pretty short (generally around 2 or 3 minutes, with only one track clocking in at over 5), so they feel focused even as they’re free-flowing and spontaneous. Truly a hidden gem, I’m astonished that this duo isn’t more well known. Hear it and possibly buy it on Bandcamp right now!