It’s been awhile since I last connected with the work of Dominic Deane. The last time was the “Hitherto” 5″ lathe on Twice Removed, but since then he self released the “Yukon Youth” CD as Ten as well as appearing on Cathedral Transmissions as part of Trouble The Dark. He also has a discography that includes releases on Heat Death and Murmur labels to name a few.
“Ten (Dominic Deane) is a musician and artist who resides in between the north and south-west of England, UK and has making experiment and ambient music since 2009. Ten’s sound combines electronic keys, shoegaze noise and percussion with the acoustic sounds of glockenspiel and strings to create a beautiful cinematic sound-scape that moves from slow, eerie and melancholic to pulsating and optimistic.”
“The Fog Bank”, preceded by the single “The Age of Today” (with accompanying remixes by The Declining Winter, Thomas Ragsdale and Ten himself) is an album that blurs the line of musical genres. Waves of ambience, tremolo guitars, minimal percussion and electronics are just some of the tools on hand. The albums eclecticism opens it up and offers listeners many sides of Dean’s musical journey.
“Express the Void” is a distorted, thick, noisy wall of Ambient/Drone that sounds fractured, blurry, but with a sense of textural and colorful components. Once electronic beats and throbs of synth enter it becomes rather ominous and cinematic.
“Tomorrowsland” lives up to its name with an eerie rumbling soundscape underneath what sounds like looped classical Chinese style rhythms that build up in a circular fashion. I am not sure if there is a specific theme in mind within the album, but you hazard a guess that Deane is influenced by Sci-Fi films.
“The Age of Today” opens up the sonic palette to include guitar and minimal percussionthat takes the track in a forward moving direction. Motorik rhythms propel the track with the same speed as the swirling ambience that dominated the opening. Cymbal crashes act as a gateway to the final hypnotic beat centric ending.
“Loci” is a free form sort of track that sounds like drones spiraling out as if randomly occurring, before beats and manipulations change their shape and sound. It feels more on the experimental side of the musical equation with its freedom of movement, but still has a small kernal of cinematic inspiration, as if a feeling has been tried for. “Gaps in the Mesh” is probably a highlight for me. It has a distinct post rock feel to it, without overly sounding like anyone (although the tones remind a little of more recent Mogwai recordings). The melody that comes through is a delight and it fuses so well together with the minimal percussion and layers of guitars and shimmering Synths. There is a dreamy quality that makes the track quite memorable.
“Make Sense” makes use of small fractions of electronics, turns them into loops and sets them free. Whirling drones, blips and blops existing in their own sphere and as the track continues onwards, the textures change revealing subtle nuances and takes these sounds on an ever evolving journey.
“Transverse” ends the album with thick heavy drones that sound like synth transmissions from outer space. With a foot in the Synth/Prog genre, the track works at playing with the strength and sonics of the drones stretching and twisting them, which changes their sounds and dynamics. My first impression the opening of this track was that it would be of an orchestral nature, but as the track progresses, it’s definitely more in the darker Sci-fi realm with the way the Synths warp their sounds being central to this feeling.
With “The Fog Bank” you wont get a repetitive album, but you will get a sense of the artists touch through it all and the variation allows for the tracks to hold their own. The highlights for me were “The Age of Today” and “Gaps in the Mesh”, two tracks which while sounding different, generate a similar set of joy in me. “The Fog Bank” is a digital only release available now.