Review: Lotto – Ask The Dust

Lotto - Ask The DustThe delights of a solitary chord can be endless. When opening track “Gremlin-Prone” strikes upon a phrase it loves, it stays there. The trio clang over and over again like the toll of a morning bell, listening closely to the mingling resonances of strings and guitar; sound rummaging in hollow chambers of glazed wood and wafting outward to lick the walls, stuck in an ambiguous harmonic expression that could easily be either a grin or a grimace. After three minutes of metronomic lingering I’m still not sure which. The group are like wild, porous-minded geniuses, clambering over improvisation that flows like feverish tangents of thought, before finding themselves blinking into a blazing epiphany, repeating a particular construct as a means of celebrating it.

As such, the point of intersection between the three is constantly moving. On “Lens”, the trio are a junkyard jazz of belching amplification and broken parts – drums stumbling over themselves, double bass like the twang of robot tendons, guitars kicked up like the dust of neglected spaces. Elsewhere, blotches of improvised Americana paint a crumpled sepia photograph. Through finger-plucking and tremolo bar I see ears of corn in hypnotic sway. In the rhythm section I see two faces protruding out of the field with expressions of befuddlement and mild panic, suddenly struck by something spotted in that invisible plain behind the camera lens. Ask The Dust is full of moments like this, where I find myself obsessing over the intentions behind sudden snare drum quivers, or the staccato guitar noise that mimics the clenching of a fist. I want to know, and yet like an image whose context is lost to the tunnel of time, I am cursed to question indefinitely.