Archer on the BeachAlbum |
Dan Bejar explores ambient electronica.
A limited-edition vinyl EP (also available as a download), Archer on the Beach is a fascinating anomaly in the Destroyer catalogue. For the first time, singer-songwriter Dan Bejar cedes control of the music to his collaborators, the ambient electronic musicians Tim Hecker and Loscil. These two lengthy explorations aren't entirely outside the parameters of Bejar's previous work: Your Blues was built primarily on synthesizers, and under his real name of Scott Morgan, Loscil has played drums on some of Destroyer's earlier albums. But none of Bejar's previous work under the Destroyer name has moved quite so far as this into the experimental realm. "Archer on the Beach" (the collaboration with Hecker) explores subtle repetition in a style not dissimilar to the first track from Brian Eno's Music For Airports, complete with a slow, wavering chord progression played on a close-miked piano. The even more abstract "Grief Point" features minimalist electronic pulses by Loscil, over which Bejar reads a personal essay that turns out to be in part about the middling reception afforded 2008's downbeat Trouble In Dreams and his subsequent (and, obviously, since rescinded) decision to stop recording: "I think the world does not like me grim. It likes me melancholic, but not miserable." The EP, finally, is neither of those: it ends up feeling more like a statement of creative self-determination, a pointed and refreshing refusal to stay in one musical corner.