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Texture II

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Texture II is the debut collaborative LP from Dustin Wong and Brin. Literally speaking, there is no Texture I. (Leaving Records completists need not fear!). But the tracks presented here speak to an ongoing and easeful collaboration between the two experimental musicians; such that there may as well be a theoretical series, a Texture I, the way we begin, in media res, with the track “Texture I” (singular) “Broken Trapeze,” which gently coaxes the listener, down and away, to some place slightly estranged——a kind of Wonderland (think: Alice). Here an incidental humor reigns, and—though minimalism isn’t quite the right word—this is a world in which we find ourselves sensitized to the quality, adjustment, and eventual settling of small things, wherein delicate sonic gestures often occasion a welcome emotive release.

Born of a live, improvisational, collaborative session on Wong’s long-running Dublab show, both musicians regard their working relationship as among the most intuitive of their careers. Complimentary indeed: Wong’s background with guitar and Brin’s history on drums (particularly his tenure in heavy music) ensure a fitting pairing. Throughout Texture II’s five tracks, generally plaintive and curious, there awaits (as if by doppler effect) an intermittent cacophony—a sudden rush of percussive, synthetic rain.

Wong speaks of the improvisational sessions that comprised the bulk of the album’s writing and recording as a series of dialogues: a way of speaking, mutually, simultaneously, without fear or threat of speaking over one another. Through careful curation (the gentle addition and subtraction of elements), the outer boundaries of songs are mapped and dragged (gently) into daylight.

Out on August 11, 2023 on cassette and vinyl, Texture II is a slippery (often wetly-sounding so) and satiating record, melding jazz, musique concrète, ambient, and a certain post-internet sincerity, perhaps best exemplified in the subtitle to “Texture IV: Things Turning into Other Things.” These are songs in a tactile realm, shifting, morphing, and dancing for their own delight.

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