STM 187 - Dalhous

Dalhous of Blackest Ever Black
Photo by Lily McNamee

Dalhous of Blackest Ever Black merges beauty, tension and cinematic atmospheres in this assorted haunting selection full of dark and dreamy soundscapes.

Dalhous of Blackest Ever Black merges beauty, tension and cinematic atmospheres in this assorted haunting selection full of dark and dreamy soundscapes.

Dalhous is the brainchild of Edinburgh-based musicians Marc Dall and Alex Ander. Started under the Young Hunting title, the project evolved over the years and established itself through several releases put out mostly by Berlin imprint Blackest Ever Black including the latest beautifully haunting “The Composite Moods Collection Vol. 1: House Number 44”, and the recent split with Pye Corner Audio released on Lapsus Records. Dalhous’ sound contains lots of subtly hidden contrasts - its monolithic rhythmic reveries are sharp and gentle, layers of ambience on the boundary between tranquility and neuroticism, harmonies ranging from soothingly clear to menacing. All of this echoes the clandestine psycho-geography of Britain, hidden within abandoned asylums amidst stretching woodlands and maddening cityscapes. It is the combination of secure ambience and underlying insanity. No wonder Dalhous have R.D. Laing, an infamous anti-psychiatrist, as a main driving force behind the first two albums. This is a figure, whose biography is marked by the constant challenge to reinvent the boundaries of madness and the concepts of sane and insane.

Secret Thirteen Mix 187 is a textural and coherent collection encompassing a wide range of cult classic movie soundtracks merged with pieces of such famous modern composers as Bernard Parmegiani, Alvin Lucier or Harold Budd. The selection gives a floating experience of cinematic ambience with undercurrents of tension, claustrophobic drones and shimmering haunting beauty. Symbolically, the mix starts with Trevor Duncan’s piece from the 1962 masterpiece La Jetée, a movie, the static monochrome sequences of which resonate so well with Dalhous’ music and possesses the same feel of twisted escapism and romanticism. The remaining selection roams through soft ambient drifts, lush neoclassical pieces, thus becoming reminiscent of a soundtrack for a long and intense dream - occasionally approaching, but not quite reaching the nightmare state. The cinematic references enhance this diverse experience even more. John Carpenter’s blockbuster ambient merges with the surreal industrial claustrophobia of David Lynch and Alan R. Splet’s “Eraserhead”, while among the multilayered darkness we find a surfacing light and tranquility within the pieces by Harold Budd, Brian Eno and Locust. The mix’s nuanced multilayered mood, subtle dark undertones and melancholic transparency is rather like the “Composition (Blue Background)” painting by Georges Papazoff.

01. Trevor Duncan - Heartbeat (La Jetée OST 1962)
02. Alvin Lucier - I Am Sitting In A Room
03. Florian Fricke - Last Village
04. John Carpenter - Julie (Assault on Precinct 13 OST 1976)
05. David Lynch & Alan R. Splet - Side B (Eraserhead OST 1977)
06. Mark Korven - Square Wave (Cube OST 1997)
07. Dsordne - Terra del Fuoco
08. Maryanne Amacher - Living sound
09. Nick Fidenco - Fascinating Horror (Zombi Holocaust OST 1980)
10. Locust - More Like Prayer Than Science
11. Mark Isham - Meet The Bodhisattva - (Point Break OST 1991)
12. Brian Eno and Harold Budd - The Plateaux of Mirror
13. Kenji Kawai - The Cursed Video (The Ring OST 1998)
14. Tangerine Dream - Extracts from the OST (The Keep OST 1997)
15. Howard Shore - Scanned by an Embryo (Scanners OST 1981)
16. Howard Shore - Train Station (Scanners OST 1981)
17. Richard Einhorn - Shock Waves Suite (Shock Waves OST 1977)
18. Klaus Shulze - Study For Brian Eno
19. Climax Golden Twins - I Saw You (Session 9 OST 2001)
20. Climax Golden Twins - Mortified Pride (Session 9 OST 2001)
21. Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama and Syun Nishigaki - Save Room (Resident Evil 2 OST 1998)
22. Bernard Parmegiani - Dance
23. Elsio Mancuso and Berto Pisano - Opening Titles (Burial Ground OST 1980)
24. Nine Inch Nails - It All Fades

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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