David Cintron - No On [Lighten Up Sounds - 2011]The name of Cleveland-based musician David Cintron will probably ring a bell with the more guitar-oriented portion of this venerable magazine’s readership as the member of avant-rock outfits Terminal Lovers and Scarcity of Tanks, as well as a whole slew of other projects. He recently took some time off from his day job to give vent to his more ambient-based aspirations, the result of which, released under his own name on Lighten Up Sounds, a small private imprint specialising in experimental art and sound, is clearly aimed at those who like their music dreamy and minimalistic.
Composed of simply two 20-minute tracks, No On is a record that will appeal to people with a taste for the meditative or on the look-out for music to fall asleep to. Its highly reflective nature, the overall flow of the delivery and the general dreaminess that permeate throughout make it a perfect companion for late-at-night listening sessions and serve to place the record firmly in the drone ambient field favoured by bands like Lull or Troum.
Obviously, going for a less-is-more approach and keeping things to a bare minimum is always a risky affair. No resorting to compositional tricks, no hiding behind walls of noise or sweeping soundscapes. One needs to rely solely on their ability to let the sounds tell their story and the listener’s readiness to join the ride, no mean feat in this world of musical over-exposition. Maeror Tri managed this to superb effect back in the day but that doesn’t make it easy and for that alone, Dave deserves credit for baring it all out and accepting the risks inherent to this kind of exercise.
Beautifully packaged in a UV gloss finish digipack and featuring artwork by the man himself, No On is to ambient what shoe-gaze is to rock and Andrei Tarkovsky to cinema. In other words, it will prove a rewarding listen for those who are ready to give it the attention it demands and immerse themselves in its sonic make-up without expecting instant self-gratification at every turn. If only for that, it comes highly recommended.