Review: Caught In The Intricately Woven Gossamer Threads Of Beatrice Dillon’s ‘Workaround’
Beatrice Dillon | Workaround | PAN
Release Date: 7 February, 2020
The interconnected complexities of Beatrice Dillon’s work slither beneath the skin as a vast network; veins branching out in every which way, pumping shimmering slivers of inspiration from Dillon’s auditory fascinations into a complete, sentient entity. Born in South London, Dillon’s deeply conceptual approach creates a spellbinding curiosity in her compositions; drawing blood from a myriad of influences and fashioning them into a unique existence. She consumes what captivates her most, and channels these auditory inspirations into puzzle pieces, a plethora of opportunity yet with a determined final assembly. Her immersion into minimalist techno and experimental dub, avant-garde jazz and African music; the artist embraces rhythm and texture, a story told through sound.
After her debut in 2011 as a DJ; this type of narrative construction is especially notable in her 2013 collaboration with 5 other musicians – working in conjunction with Pedro Reyes on a piece for Lisson Gallery in London, the artists created the music using instruments made out of decommissioned guns – aptly titled Disarm. SInce the release of her first original material material in 2014, Dillon has collaborated with a number of artists including Rupert Clervaux, Gunnar Wendel and Ben UFO – having released (a few) singles and two mixtapes. ‘Workaround‘ is Beatrice Dillon’s debut LP, shining a light on the creative and technical prowess of the producer; a traverse through an ever branching creation featuring an array of prominent musicians, such as Laurel Halo, Jonny Lam, Kuljit Bhamra, Untold, Kadialy Kouyate, Kenichi Iwasa, Lucy Railton, Morgan Buckley, Petter Eldh and James Rand.
The luminosity of ‘Workaround Two‘ radiates in it’s sunny disposition; the bare-bones of the opening syncopated beats dusted with a granular percussion – rough to the touch, a spacious cavity welcoming a low, rich beat and playful claps. Pastoral synths oscillate delicately, the ebb and flow of electronic textures weaving themselves into gossamer sun-beams, rays of light crawling across a lush, tranquil environment. A glistening, passionate saxophone – expressive and filled with a vivid radiance – cradles a warm, comforting aura as vocals by Laurel Halo shimmer, filtered and abrupt, into minimalist beats and atmospheric synths; dancing playfully with each texture with an adventurous breakaway of the typical 4/4.
Swift, crisp beats introduce ‘Clouds Strum‘ – a shallow bass grounding the spaces in between; uncluttered and light, the airy feel of the track sways between the voices of each timbre – light, brittle claps chatter between the abrupt, metallic voices of synths soaked in cyber-distortion. The track embraces a unique kind of groove – the layered soundscape of textures bounce with rhythmic bliss, light and refreshing; percussive rolls and bubbling synths weave together harmoniously, an unexpected companionship between rich mahogany resonance and weightless immersion.
‘Square Fifths‘ showcases a distinct approach to dub; the pulsing bassline curdles beneath a spacious, feathery rhythm; fluttering in a blue-sky sway, the effortless roll of percussion demonstrating the stylistic merge of inspiration of Dillion’s part – the coalescence of genre into an experimental swirl glows with organic textures amongst a flurry of hollow digital swarms; chaotic yet not overwhelming, the fluttering dust of a digital-space juxtaposed with a down to earth composition – the minimalism of the unforeseen break in the track sheer and atmospheric. A noticeable lucidity cradles the composition of the track, distinct textures and buoyant rhythm woven intricately into an airy experimental sound. The ability to demonstrate such complexity while refusing to stand as something heavy or convoluted – an elaborate, alluring, interconnected web that still leaves room to breathe – while applicable to this track in particular, is the perfect summation of Dillon’s work in ‘Workaround’ altogether.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Feature Image: Beatrice Dillon by Nadine Fraczkowski