Boomkat Product Review:
Following the 2016 tape edition of American Zen, Lee Bannon aka Dedekind Cut links with Hospital Productions for an expanded new vinyl edition clasping a sublime bonus single collab with Alex Zhang Hungtai, who’s better known for his maudlin pop bewts as Dirty Beaches. If you like your ambient music intangible and synaesthetically olfactory, huffable, you’re encouraged to check this one without delay...
American Zen finds its centre in quivering, pensive drones and fractured small sounds, but is rent with an oceanic sense of scale, deploying splashes of distant percussion, extreme panned vocal snippets and slowly escalating harmonic space perfused by crackling radiowaves and that intangible timbre of an old TV turned on somewhere, but you can’t quite pick out its location.
It unfolds at a glacial pace in five parts, crossing lines/waves comparable with Chino Amobi & Rabit’s ultraviolent mixtape, the nostalgic Americana yearn of Torn Hawk, and even The Caretaker’s hallowed aether zones; perpetually out of reach, submerged or hardly there, but feeling as though he’s right there, breathing quietly in the background and watching you listen.
In addition to the original 5 tracks, including the formerly tape-only Folsom Lake 04, you’ll now also find a rare outing from Alex Zhang Hungtai infiltrating the finely graded and diaphanous silhouette of Я подарю тебе мир / I’ll Give You The World on the final side, serving to complement and temper Dedekind Cut’s broader strokes with fluctuating microtonal infidelities and a gauzier, anaesthetising and almost pastoral atmosphere that’s a real pleasure to drift off with.
Excellent stuff, perhaps the most interesting of Bannon’s releases we’ve heard so far.