Quinoline Yellow

Dol-Goy Assist

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The first full-length album by Quinoline Yellow (aka Luke Williams), Dol-Goy Assist is definitive proof that what was once randomly new has become its own tradition -- such is the fate of all putative genres, but seeing IDM or art techno or whatever one wants to call it change from bemusing abstraction to hallowed path is still strange. Then again, Williams possesses something that few who followed the Aphex Twin and his fellow travelers remembered to keep -- a good, easy to engage melodic sense amid the clatter. Thus, the opening "Sealed" might not be as chaotically compelling as Aphex's "On," for instance, but the model remains a sound one -- heavy-duty beats set beside soft serene synth tones, a contrast with bite. It sets the tone of the album as a whole, and if Dol-Goy Assist could have appeared on Warp or Rephlex in 1995 as much as Skam in 2005, it's one of those albums where the shock of the new is much less important than the quality of the sound and performances -- and they work. When Williams aims at hitting the dancefloor hard, the results are often the best -- the flecks of acid squelch and industrial/electronic body music aggression in "Tradmarc9" and the compressed, snaky breaks on "Tuppence Sword" are two good examples. Williams also throws in curve balls to keep things active, and sometimes it's the small moments with the biggest impact: the percussionless bridge in "Arnica," which feels like stepping out suddenly over a bottomless canyon; the beautifully ominous beginning to "Liddingstick," like an evil computer coming to life. At many times, though, Dol-Goy's appeal is simply one of the agreeably familiar, a button-pushing that's no less satisfying for simply being effective at that very same skill.

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