Boomkat Product Review:
Dawuna’s sublimely brooding, formative work with his band Ot To, Not To, lands fresh on ears seduced by his standout ‘EP1’ and ‘Glass Lit Dream’ in recent years - RIYL Tirzah, Klein, LA Timpa, Wayne Phoenix, Mica, D’Angelo, The Weeknd.
‘It Loved To Happen’ spellbinds in a filigree lattice of half-heard vocal intimations and the gentlest instrumental touches that form a feathered bed of R&B edging on neo-classical ambient. Focussed time spent in its smouldering atmospheres can’t help but alert keener listeners to a real rough-cut gem, one that evokes a timeless late night soundtrack for loners and lovers. Anyone smitten with his 'Glass Lit Dream' album will be primed to the style, but also surprised by the cinematic appeal and folk textures between the sounds that give ‘It Loved To Happen’ such a strangely elusive yet immersive quality.
Strung out in the shadows between so many related styles, Ian Mugerwa aka Dawuna is a ghostly, glossolalic presence seemingly lost in his thoughts and spurred to express them by Noah Smith’s lissom strokes of acoustic guitar, with smouldering embers of electronic ephemera and field recordings fizzing like filament in the music’s lacunæ fissures. The effect is poetic and with acres of room, designed to encourage the imagination to fill in the gaps as the record unfolds from the dusky lament of ‘It Loved’ to the wheezing, folksy elegy of ’Shenandoah’ with its smeared accordion, drizzle and forlorn choral motifs feeling like a Mihály Vig soundtrack for Béla Tarr transposed to the witching hour in Brooklyn.
Quietly ravishing and bruised soul musick.