Review: Dakn – too low, too far

Bilna’es بالناقص

Resembling a water-logged device attempting to revive itself – whirring, slipping, failing – this debut record from Dakn seems to showcase circuitry rendered audible through damage, drawing attention to those little motors that used to cycle silently inside their casing, all now straining against a system too broken to co-operate. too low, too far alludes to a former life as an immaculate dark ambient record, yet due to some unnamed disruption (the record’s accompanying texts states that the tracks each evoke “different parts of a body in post trauma”), nothing is quite fitting together how it should. The drones are forever sliding off pitch. Mechanisms scream into life and then stop. Voices slur through fatigue and worn tape. Some sections are like objects viewed through curved glass, their outlines stretched and melted. While the record retains a connection to the dark, there’s nothing romantic or elegant about this depiction. This is a difficult, self-sabotaging selection of pieces, intentionally frustrating in their allusions to a former purpose gone awry, punctured by interjecting bursts and sudden squeals, stubbornly denying the listener a sense of compositional progression that might otherwise encase the disarray within an overarching coherence. Instead these pieces splay in all directions like thick spillages, only further impairing themselves as time passes.