The lovely sounds of chirping birds, lilting guitar, effects laden accordion, theremin, and brooding synths on "Niche Differentiation" start your journey on Dendritic, the new collaboration between Gridfailure (Dave Brenner) and Megalophobic (Benjamin Levitt). The original intention was to have Levitt record contributions for an upcoming Gridfailiure album, but the lengthy improvisations between the two eventually manifested itself into a full-blown session, with contributions from other guest stars added later on.
The addition of nature sounds, specifically wind and birds, really adds some nice depth to these pieces. "Opportunistic Twilight Predation" is a creepy number, with ominous synths floating over birds, insects, wind, and water sounds, and if you close your eyes you can almost imagine yourself lost in the deep, dark wilderness, miles away from civilization. "Phantom Climate" is another menacing track, complete with bells, chimes, and suffocating keys, the gentle guitar strumming from Liz Ciavarella-Brenner echoing in the background, while "A Corpse At Every Funeral" features top session man Mac Gollehon on trumpet, his bleating tones mixing with nightmarish space rock elements conjured up by Brenner & Levitt. "Die Feindlichen Alchemisten mit Glocken" is the second of the three lengthy tracks here, and another ghastly concoction of unsettling sounds, as eerie synth, static, and fuzz perpetuate stark terror, occasional robotic spoken word vocals only adding to the creepy factor. Brenner's unique ability to craft sci-fi/horror soundtrack themes pop up on the bleak "Divergence on a Finite Domain", and the unnerving loops of "An Ode Across Dimensions" give an uncomfortable, claustrophobic feel. Dendritic closes with the epic "Coils Of Rope Still Sway From The Timbers", complete with Levitt's effects saturated accordion wafting under mounds of brooding synths and terrifying ambient sounds.
As with most releases of this nature, Dendritic won't be for everyone, but if you have an adventurous ear there are some fascinating & chilling things happening here. With every preorder of the album, a seedling tree will be purchased, and joined by allies, the two artists will plant the trees throughout the NYC/Hudson Valley region, which is a great idea on their part.
1. Niche Differentiation 10:51
2. Opportunistic Twilight Predation 04:55
3. Phantom Climate 03:38
4. A Corpse At Every Funeral 04:54
5. Die Feindlichen Alchemisten mit Glocken 12:31
6. Divergence on a Finite Domain 04:20
7. An Ode Across Dimensions 03:21
8. Coils Of Rope Still Sway From The Timbers 10:02