- On Walls & Dimensions, Scott Monteith (AKA Deadbeat) wrestles with loss and pain in ways he's rarely attempted. The eight-track album reflects the tumultuous period when he wrote it. Losing a loved one in a tragic accident, being forced to confront the crooked nature of the music industry and contemplating why "the wider world was falling apart at the seams" were the factors that led Monteith into a "truly dire period of existential crisis and depression." It makes Walls & Dimensions the Canadian artist's most poignant record to date.
Though there are effective instrumentals on the album, Walls & Dimensions often looks to vocalists to help convey its emotional content. Bleak opener "Ain't No Flowers" enlists Fink to add weary, downtrodden soul to its deep dub pulses. "Rage Against The Light" finds Dehlia De France reinterpreting lines from the classic Dylan Thomas poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" into long-winded (at times, even guttural) vocal passages. In this case, the vocals come off overcooked, but the way the music subtly chugs and builds momentum goes a long way to making "Rage Against The Light" work. "Got To Carry On" is one of the record's most hopeful efforts, as Elif Bicer's words of encouragement are gently layered over a swinging beat bolstered by catchy sub-bass.
Monteith gets even more direct. The sparse, rumbling "Tired People Get Up" opens with an excerpt about why those "tired of being sick and tired" and "fed up [with] the bullshit" can be pushed to violence. Similarly, album standout "Keep On Pushing" opens with a clip remarking on how all one can do "when things are so fucking unfair" is to "keep on pushing." Manipulated throughout the track's seven-minute run, that pitched-down "keep on pushing" sample anchors static-lined drones and cyclical melodic patterns, which is pleasantly reminiscent of Deadbeat's Infinity Dubs productions.
Despite their pronounced presence, the vocal contributions to Walls & Dimensions don't steal the spotlight from its masterful productions. This is Monteith's tenth full-length, and you can tell. His deep, immersive strain of dubby house and techno is so well defined, it can illustrate and contemplate his world views. As if to acknowledge that's a lot to take in, Monteith concludes with "Lights For Lele," a 15-minute ambient meditation rich with detail. It's a space to breathe and process everything Walls & Dimensions has to say.
01. Ain't No More Flowers feat. Fink
02. I Get Low
03. Rage Against The Light feat. Delhia de France
04. Tired People Get Up
05. Stekker Forever! feat. Maarten Vos
06. Keep On Pushing
07. Got To Carry On feat. Elif Becir
08. Lights For Lele