Dither – Urei
"Urei" is the fifth CD, and third studio album for Dither, a french musician coming from the Noise Museum / Alice in Wonder family. If "Apogee", the only other album from Dither that I know, was pleasant but had left me with the feeling that it could have been better, "Urei" shows a real progress. If the essence of Dither has stayed the same kind of melodic, down tempo electronica filled with melodies, the tracks have more catchiness and groove that I was expecting.
The album starts with a very moody and nice track, in which the echoed melodies and heavy but restrained rhythm reminded me a lot of Gridlock, both in its atmosphere and its composition. In my opinion, his is an influence that stays all throughout the CD, Dither playing a lot, like Gridlock, with combining two very distinct layer of music, one for light melodies and one for short and percussive drums, the two elements having often very little in common. This can be found on almost all the tracks of "Urei", even though the album seems to become more and more atypical as you progress through it, the analog melodies taking more and more space. What should be said about "Urei" is that this is calm, light music that is made of clear sounds, without a trace of violence or noise. The sound layering is quite dense, and, even though the tracks are far from being broken, the listener doesn't get bored easily by this CD. Always soft, Dither signs his best tracks when he manages to add some contrasts to his tracks, for example with the bass filled beat of the third track, one of my favorite track of the CD. The other wonder of this CD lies in Dither's ability to build a rather light and aetheral mood even though most of his sounds are steady and paradoxically "big", contrasting with the shorter clicks and blips that are often used to create this kind of atmosphere. Dither has been compared to Beefcake, Autechre or Boards of Canada but is in my opinion very different from these three acts, keeping a relatively classic track sructure and working with longer, somewhat more classic sounds.
There are some exceptions, like the gentle and very ligh 4th track but, all in all, "Urei" is a strange creation, an calm and dreamy electronica album that stays very accessible and has chosen to focus on the melodies rather than on the rhythms. Some sounds might have deserved some more efforts, and some tracks might not work as well as some others, but the whole thing is very pleasant and enjoyable by many. A very nice disc for people into the most melodic and calm side of industrial music.