… aspires to the windswept upperslopes of ambient grandeur where Sigur Ros or Mogwai might pitch camp.
Consequence Music is the debut album from Dextro, aka 27 year-old Glaswegian Ewan Mackenzie. “Dextro is a Latin word that literally means ‘right hand side’, and has connotations relating to being sly and skilful,” he says. “I don’t profess to being sly and skilful, but I like the idea of the word suggesting the idea of the ‘right side’, the good side.”
… an album that combines the electronics of BOC and the guitar crescendos of Mogwai with a touch of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’.
4/5 DJ MAGAZINE
Undeniably, there’s an impenetrable positive spirit running throughout Dextro’s largely instrumental music. His is beautifully structured, highly melodic and richly layered electronica that – while making nods to heroes Brian Eno, Neu and Phillip Glass – is distinctly his own.
A key part of Mackenzie’s sound is the incorporation of field sounds within his lush studio compositions. Whether it be the sound of bustling Japanese streets on the opening track ‘Bladder Wrack’ or just treated vocal snippets on the following ‘Atman’ to the looping drum sound of an ink jet printer firing up on ‘Calcutec’, it seems no noise source is considered too small or indeed too big when it comes to adding intricate and often atmospheric textures to the Scotmans music. “The strangest place I have ever recorded? Hmmm, well there was this industrial mill in Ireland which had a series of belts that created a drone, the noise almost resembled a note.”
Born into a musical family in Falkirk, Scotland, Ewan has played in bands since he was fourteen. He’s currently the drummer in the Glasgow experimental rock band Snowblood, who released their second album Being and Becoming in 2005 and have toured every year since 2002. Dextro grew out of Mackenzie’s desire to create his own sounds and make music outside of a traditional band set up and has led him to persue the unconventional sounds that occupy the record. “My first set up was a very basic one, using an Atari ST and a sampler,” he says. “I would try to record piano and drums as well as sounds from everyday life. There after I would play with the sounds as much as possible until I came across sounds that appealed to me. I gave the recordings to friends and they encouraged me to do more.” Now even on the live circuit Ewan aspires to keep his music as interesting possible by never playing the same thing twice.
The first Dextro release, the Animism EP, arrived in 2004 on Jumblefunk. A 12″, Do You Need Help, followed later that year on James Holden’s Border Community label. Since then, Ewan has been working on Consequence Music which was recorded in the most insular of environments, Consequence Music was a labour of love, recorded in solitude over half a year.”Most of album was created in a very quiet house in the gorgeous Scottish hills,” says Ewan. “Solitude played a big part in getting my mind focussed on the music, and over this six to seventh month period I didn’t socialise with my friends except on rare occasions (which were always fantastic fun).”
Consequence Music grew from basic ideas Mackenzie had been experimenting with for years. Working on a remit of his own making – that “music should move you and sometimes overwhelm you,” he shaped an album of great scope; one that will reach beyond the confines of the genre and the expectations of electronica fanboys.
“As I was making the album, I tried my best to enjoy the music as much as any listener would,” says Ewan. “I was sure that I wanted to do an album, and I am sure I will make another one when the time is right.”
…a narcoleptic dreamworld of lush, orchestrated ambient soundscapes. Highly Recommended.