Label: Lobby Art Records
Over the course of 10 years, Portland, OR artist Dylan M. Howe has been a groundswell of murky electronic dirges and glistening soundscapes. Under previous aliases (Airsports, C Plus Plus, Portland Compressor), Howe assembled a quilted portrait of the disparate zones that moved the earth beneath him. With “Southern Gap,” DMH is stepping out with his first proper release under his own name. A distillation of previous efforts, “Southern Gap,” is a confident gesture; a patient and pensive collection of tracks that point to an artist valuing growth, expansion and peace with the palette in which they color their world. Side A hitches itself to the echoing drone of a flute in “Arcade Flutes,” leading right into the obscured tenor of a melodica laying the groundwork for the pulsing ambient dub of “Ritual For Conscious Dying.” A flip of the platter leads the listener off with the tectonic hum of “Ninety Blocks,” which could easily find itself saddled alongside the organ-drone work of Sarah Davachi or Kali Malone. “Courtyard” summates the LP with the clattering of field recordings and the crescendoing of synthesizers, recalling “Fall IntoTime”-era Oneohtrix Point Never. As DMH puts it, “this is music for buildings that no longer serve a human purpose; a sonic embodiment of spaces that were once meant for dwelling but can function as such.” This record colors the landscape we know as too familiar; cold and vacuous spaces that occupy our communities blocks, but don’t lay out the welcome mat. Dylan M. Howe’s sensitive nod to the empty systems that shape our daily life is the embrace we too often go without.