Boomkat Product Review:
Diaristic collage from Jacob Dwyer, expressing his time spent in a log cabin in the woods of Lithuania, coupled with material by Kareem Lotfy.
Presented as equal parts “ambient, soundtrack, and an audio play”, Dwyer’s debut recording ‘The Devil Museum’ introduces an observant spirit at work, turning his surroundings and daily life into an instrument and narrative. Calling to mind everything from the themes of JG Ballard’s ‘The Enormous Space’ to Graham Lambkin or claire rousay’s domestic pottering, or the chill factor of Ogmios School of Zen Motoring in its calm meander, the four mazy, durational parts likewise link back to Mana’s releases by concrète poets Luc Ferrari and Pierre Mariétan to keep the label’s coordinates lokey unpredictable.
There’s some possibly apocryphal context to the release involving a commission to photograph the titular Devil Museum in Lithuania, and surrealistic recollections of selling his mam a kilo of scallops, but the artist’s own definition of the work as “audio drama” means Dwyer’s witterings are best taken with a pinch of salt. To be fair it sounds like he had a nice time out there, contrasting with, say, the manic results of a similar experiment in a Scottish caravan by Sockethead, or the crankier domestic poetics of Graham Lambkin/Mark Harwood/Louis Johnstone, with Dwyer tending more to local poetry night style of melodic cadence and daydreamy nice nice, not warts and all.
Gelled with Kareem Lotfy’s sparing original compositions, and benefiting from mixing rendered by Jacob Rostra, ‘The Devil Museum’ is a subtle and odd album that feels like an experimental NTS show that bypassed radio and went straight to disc.