Boomkat Product Review:
Dome’s opiated but agitated 2nd album arrives via a crucial reissue scheme on Editions Mego, finding Wire guys Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis further getting to grips with their reorganised Blackwing Studios set-up.
Following Dome 1’s pretty much unprecedented vacillation of ghostly pop songs and sculpted noise, the duo’s 2nd LP finds them mining deeper into the foundations of avant-rock to coax out strange, plasmic forms of minimalist dirge set to slow, jagged rhythms and lysergic vox.
Arriving a year after their first effort, ’2’ documents their further ventures at Eric Radcliffe’s legendary Blackwing Studios (site of seminal recordings by Yazoo and Depeche Mode) after they had spent a lot of intense session reorganising their set-up. The result is an inimitably druggy, enchanted record that slips listeners into a strange state of mind.
‘The Red Tent I’ opens with a gentle transition from the sublime into menacing darkness, while ’The Red Tent II’ follows with a mean pre-echo of sludgy, grungy stoner rock, and ‘Breathsteps’ pushes that vibe down the rabbit hole into a sort of cranky, clangorous free jazz. Side B then opens with the spectral guitar harmonics and distant laughter of ‘Reading Prof. B’, leading into the album’s trippiest pieces with the mogadon rock ’n roll freak ‘Ritual View’ and the psychotomimetic charge of ‘Twist Up’, before it all calves off into the menacing ambience of ‘Keep It’, and we’re left wondering what the eff just occurred.
What a deeply strange and wonderful record.