Harmonious Discord label boss and abstract artist PointBender returns with his third and most expressly creative full-length album yet. PointBender is the moniker of Sean Anderson, an independent artist living in Austin, TX who has been putting out back-pocket releases for over 15 years on imprints like Guidance, Thoughtless, Blaq, and his own imprint Harmonious Discord. Sean’s third album is a project 1.5 years in the making with collaborations from Toronto based vocalist and Lal frontwoman Rosina Kazi, Texas based dub artist Vegenaut, and techno artist Matthew Thompson. Sean took a new approach to constructing this album, focusing on recording single takes of audio directly and limiting himself to outboard gear with minimal computer intervention. In addition, the album features a multitude of live instrumentation with recordings of guitar, bass, drums, and clarinet alongside some personal field recordings. Dusk Frontier embodies a new outlook and direction for Sean as an artist and showcases a taste of the future of the project.
Harmonious Discord 046 PointBender – Dusk Frontier
- Intro to an Aircraft
- Dusk Frontier featuring Rosina
- Steam Morris
- Brain Mud featuring Vegenaut
- Passive Casio
- Dub Creature
- Pferd featuring Matthew Thompson
- Three Complications
Intro to an Airplane is an ambient sound design experiment recorded and produced completely on an airplane using recordings of the air vents, people, and field noise with the aid of some heavy FX processing. The title song Dusk Frontier is a mixture of deep moods and cinematic overtures supported by driving percussion. Rosina Kazi showcases a wide range of vocal phrasing and complex harmonies over a field of growing synthesizer interplay. Splashes of percussion and bass slides help grow the space in between until the break where warming chimes drift the listeners into a greyed abstraction. Steam Morris is another deep selection focusing on smoky old world undertones. Live clarinet and evolving pads keep the mood pensive as support from drum machines and synths grows to complicate the mood. For Brain Mud, Sean teams up with Vegenaut, a cross-genre artist with a flair for off kilter glitchy dub works to create a messy slow burn with smooth bass and a competing mixture of leads and synth sketches. Passive Casio starts a nice divergence to rough and tumble urban techno jams. The song was recorded in a single session inside a beat machine with tons of automation and sound morphing. By the second breakdown the song is in complete chaos embodied by gritty distortion and staggered delays. Dub Creature is a canonical example of PointBender’s signature cinematic sound. Tightly controlled dub chords build into a druggy midnight bouncer with bass slides and plenty of dark arpeggios. Pferd continues on the dubby theme with gargantuan bass and a variety of capped and swung drum fills. Likely one of the dancier of the pieces, Pferd works well as a dancefloor tool. We finalize the album with an 80’s inspired emotional journey called Three Complications. Sean uses guitar and vocals to accompany the warm lush pads and arpeggios of that toe the line between an indie musical piece and a proper Balearic house song. While each selection has its unique lens and language the album as a whole is a thoughtful narrative on the boundaries of electronic music and the ability to abstract away from cemented dancefloor formulas.