Electronic music is the finger painting of aural art. The general perception of the genre is that with the right equipment, anyone can make it. But that doesn”t mean that in the hands (or fingers, rather) of talented artists electronic music isn”t a valid art form. Electronic music, with its innumerable sub-genres and clique-y classifications, should be treated like jazz or plumbing as something best left to professionals. Dabrye is one.
One/Three clips through 10 tracks in just over 35 minutes. It”s a tight record in every sense of the word. The songs are short, yet developed, crafted, but still catchy. Staying primarily within a trippy funk-hop trance, Dabrye”s debut album sounds like what George Clinton would want to listen to as the E wears off.
“The Lish” starts the album”s stream. At first sounding trip-hoppy with a drum loop and ambient synths, a saxophone drifts in deftly and “The Lish” takes off. It”s a tricky move for this kind of album, where such an addition risks sounding contrived or forced, but Dabrye makes it work. And that”s what sets this record apart from Tadd (the mystery man behind Dabrye) Mullinix”s earlier album released under his own name it doesn”t sound like Mullinix is trying to do anything now. Instead, his work as Dabrye sounds like he”s learned how to just do it, and have the product sound natural and unique at the same time.
But One/Three doesn”t flow by entirely glitch-free. On a beautifully short (by electronic music standards) album, “I”m Missing You” and “How Many Times [With This]” would need to develop more interestingly and rapidly in order to keep pace with the rest of the record. These blips of the banal aside, One/Three deserves a listen from more than just electronic music devotees.
This album offers a great deal of accessibility. “We”ve Got Commodity” combines danceability with listenability and “Smoking the Edge” evolves through sophisticated subtleties. Throughout One/Three, Dabrye carefully manipulates detail and focus while utilizing the power of properly placed nuance.
As for those finger painting comparisons, One/Three resides closer to the Rothkos and the Pollocks than the stuff your mom put up on the fridge.