In a Dim Light

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In the years between Nedry's albums Condors and In a Dim Light, dubstep exploded into the mainstream, making what was once cutting-edge ubiquitous. However, these songs show that the trio doesn't have to rely on a wobbling bassline to craft intriguing songs and sounds. The shadowy but alluring territory of tracks such as "Dusk Till Dawn" reaffirms that In a Dim Light is aptly named; at the very least, its subtler, often monochromatic approach is a far cry from the collage-like feel of Condors, where it felt like Nedry rejoiced in throwing disparate sounds together and hearing them collide. Here, they play cat-and-mouse with their listeners, lulling them with Ayu Okakita's fragile vocals and delicate, insectoid beats before dropping bass bombs on them, as on "Havana Nights." Sometimes the album's subtlety just becomes subdued; "Float"'s gentle dissonance is pretty but a bit repetitive, while closing track "Home" is sleek but not as interesting as some of In a Dim Light's more dynamic moments. "I Would Rather Explode"'s ominous beauty owes a debt to Massive Attack, but the way Okakita can sing in a whisper that sounds like a scream is all Nedry. Many of the album's highlights are actually its darkest moments, such as the enchanting "Violaceae," where Okakita murmurs "Let the dark come" as that wub-wub-wub bassline surfaces like a deep sea monster, or "," where the entire song seems to shake on its foundations. On In a Dim Light, Nedry never get as self-consciously slick as many of the bands that made trip-hop so dully tasteful in its later years, but they're still at their best when they're fully in touch with their volatile side.

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