November 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Dirty Beaches – Stateless

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Dirty Beaches – Stateless

Dirty Beaches
Stateless
Zoo Music
Street: 11.04
Dirty Beaches = Colin Stetson / Zomes

Stateless is the instrumental follow-up to Alex Zhang Hungtai’s impressive double LP last year, released as Dirty Beaches. It consists of four songs and spans 40 minutes with no drastic changes in mood, but with a lingering feeling of nothingness. Stateless takes me to a place that is free of associations and obligations, and it’s free of them by law, not by way of ignorance or dissatisfaction. Terms like “drifter” and “lost in translation” perfectly describe Hungtai’s cinematic instrumental style. Horn instruments resemble distant foghorns blowing through wet ocean air, and synthesizers are used to the effect that they don’t register as electronic sounds, but more like organic noise being passed through the wind. Stateless reflects the collective feeling of those who don’t feel bound to any one place and seek the permanent freedom of a place called nowhere. Get the album, and I’ll meet you there. –Justin Gallegos

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