- Once it was a rarity, if not a recipe for disaster. But in the last few years, the idea of house and techno producers reinventing themselves as singer-songwriters has become common. From James Teej to Matthew Dear to James Blake, a whole sub-genre of DJ/producers are now showing a more indie-dance side. This makes Dinky's left turn on Dimension D less dramatic than it once would have been. Nonetheless, the album makes a strong case for her right to mine that rich middle ground between club music, indie and pop.
The Chilean artist's fifth album was three years in the making, during which time Dinky studied jazz, classical guitar and piano, and thought, presumably, about how she might create something more in the vein of the bands she lists as inspirations in the press sheet, such as Mazzy Star, Massive Attack, Cocteau Twins. In the end Dimension D is less grand, ambitious and emotionally draining than what those influences might suggest. The tone ranges from one of breezy, summery melancholy (akin to Ada's Meine Zarten Pfoten) to the overcast dissatisfaction of Ellen Allien's Dust.
Naturally, Dimension D borrows from the dance floor. Its tracks are underpinned with bumpy, computerised bass, texturally varied drums and Latinate percussion, all lifted straight from the post-minimal house music textbook. It doesn't all work ("Heathrow" is a banal ambient reverie, "Measures" plays ineffectively with Japanese scales), but Dinky's clear talent for song-structure, not to mention her apparent love for surf and chiming 4AD-style guitars, means that her indie-dance hybrid impresses. The limber "Xanex" purrs seductively, full of clever detail. "Blind" sashays and twirls, a winning excursion into jazzy, Latin electro. "Falling Angel," however, is the track that is most likely to transcend Dimension D. Unfolding with an irresistible ease, it's as cool as the Chromatics and, in its middle-eight, has a wonderfully sad guitar solo worthy of Electronic-era Johnny Marr. For Dinky, there is clearly life beyond the dance floor.
01. I Saw
04. Dimension D
05. Falling Angel
11. La Noche