The Toronto post-rock troupe reunite for their first album in almost a decade.
Inspired to rekindle the magic for another album after the band reunited for Constellation’s 15th anniversary tour in 2012, DMST eventually conceived ‘Stubborn Persistent Illusions’ after two years of studio sessions between 2014-16. Extra creative inspiration was gleaned from a short Buddhist poem about boundlessness and recurrence.
So much for DMST being the torchbearers of non-pretentious post-rock? Despite the time spent apart, the band have clearly lost none of their well-honed instrumental harmony and penchant for swooping drama, delivering another album that is best experienced as a whole.
They say Tomaga, spellcheck insists Tomato. Whatever you call them, Tomaga’s Tom Relleen and Valentina Magaletti (Raime) tread their own path with Greetings From The Bitter End; a ruggedly churning session featuring one new track from the duo backed with A Perspective With No End and respective remixes from $hit & $hine and Cavern Of Antimatter (Holger Zapf & Steroelab’s Dilworth/Gane).
On Greetings From The Bitter End, Valentina knuckles out hard, rasping drums under a Tom’s coruscating electronics, loosely calving off into what sounds like an oncoming horde of hoofed toffs tooting bugles on the hunt for tiny foxes, then reeling fro Valentina’s ricocheting hits. On the $hit & $hine version Craig Clouse dials down the noise, jabbing the groove with cattle prod stings and slurred strings.
Flipside, Valentina’s drums swagger with devilish style around Tom’s free-jazz/psych elaborations in the exclusive Liberating Mania, and the Stereolab-related Cavern of Antimatter pelt for the middle-distance with an authentically ‘60s-sounding version of Gonda’s Dream.
Exquisite eldritch spooking from Children Of Alice, the trio of Broadcast’s James Cargill and Roj Stevens joined by Julian House, who collaborated with Broadcast on the final album in his guise as The Focus Group. The trio are titled in tribute to Trish Keenan (R.I.P.), the Broadcast co-founder and Cargill’s partner, who named Jonathan Miller’s ‘60s film adaptation of Alice In Wonderland among the band’s main inspirations.
Now conscripted to Broadcast’s erstwhile label, Warp Records, Children of Alice offers a necessary recap of their adventures to date with three pieces previously issued on Folklore Tapes, plus one previously unheard part called The Liminal Space.
The 19 minute invocation, The Harbinger Of Spring was originally their debut side from a split with Mary Arches in 2013. It drowsily sets the rabbit-holing tone for the rest of the record with a glistening miasma of warbling ephemera and beautifully elusive harmonies to put you in the lushest spin.
Rite of the Maypole appeared on Folklore Tapes’ Merry May compilation in 2015 and sounds like a light-headed fever dream rendered in smudged ’60s pastels, at times uncannily recalling parts of Mark Leckey’s Dream English Kid soundtrack, before Invocation of a Midsummer Reverie (from Crown of Light (Midsummer Traditions & Folklore) reaps some real magic from mercurial flurries of tabla, droning ’tronics and suggestively febrile moans.
The one part exclusive to this release, The Liminal Space, is a big highlight of the set, where Radiophonic rustle, avant-jazz gestures and wilting keys share a lysergic, drily dubbed headspace.
What a beauty!?