There's a unique style that exists in Dextro's music and it's one I've appreciated since I first heard his 2009 album, Winded. Ewan's combination of longing piano, euphoric drums and ambient textures is a rare recipe that straddles post-rock, downtempo, experimental and in many instances, ambient music. His upcoming album, In The Crossing, is his latest production capturing this enigmatic sound and we're lucky enough to hold an exclusive stream of the album prior to release.
Some of you may know Dextro from his inclusion on ASIP's Europe, in 2015, and it was everything I could have wished for to best depict his brilliant style I had followed for years. A swirling texture built to a crescendo of drums portraying the ascent of the Isle Of Barra.
Dextro's upcoming album, In The Crossing, is another dive into a dramatic landscape. What starts as an unsettling and confident assault in Evacuate, soon transcends into a deeper journey. Perhaps the awakening was the rocking of the boat, the sinking of the ship, the crash on to shore, with a sudden realisation that survival is now your primary goal, amongst a barren and desolate land.
Dextro's gently rolling guitar follows the evacuation on Amor Fati, with crushing guitar drones caressing, then threatening and dancing in the background. Introducing the uptempo breaks and jagged synths of Break Off. By now, the journey has picked up pace, and Ewan's experience with live performances dictating the flow of the recording, embracing a narrative and juxtaposing approaches to each track - Ewan's armory on full show just four tracks in, as Clearing, signals the melancholic piano we loved in his previous EP, Zero Circle.
One of my favourite tracks on the album, Clearing, is a crashing of energy, a realization of sorts and a chance to reflect before a more lively, brilliant, Silent. A swirling synth backed by a gentle chant, grows into a euphoric palette of glistening colors - a break in the sky.
Sharp drums define a more downtempo-esque style in The Passage, with some lovely attention to detail in the guitars, as the track ascends into the powerful, climbing drones of Sum Poly; a slow post-rock style lullaby. Dextro saves his most epic treatment for last in Occupy, as heavy drones drown out an ominous string melody, immersing a tinkering beauty into a slowly sinking plateaux.
Dextro has spent time narrating this album and developing the story, rather than trying to fit together individual pieces. Each track has an extremely distinct mood, a tangible feeling that's at times, extremely dark, or alternatively distinctly up-lifting. Either way, Dextro's strength with the album comes with his multitude of moods, told through his signature instruments and style. Brooding atmospheres, puncturing drums, melancholic pianos and just the right amount of electronic injection here-and-there, paint a beautiful, wet, windy landscape that screams adventure, drama and danger.
Embrace it with everything you've got.
In The Crossing will be pressed on limited 180g vinyl (200 copies) and 1000 Gatefold CD's through Bandcamp and available in all good record stores.