Dedekind Cut - Tahoe [Kranky - 2018]Although Fred Weldont Warmsley III (Dedekind Cut) made his mark as a hip-hop producer, he's continued to grow and expand and show his talents in other genres of music. Differing quite a bit from last year's The Expanding Domain, Kranky's release of Tahoe shows Dedekind Cut with a more refined, further reaching scope. The fun, fairly disconnected, near-industrial beats have given way to lush ambient, and reveal Dedekind Cut's passion for artistry.
Taking inspiration from his new home, Tahoe captures the beauty and grandeur of the scenic resort town in sonic meditation. The airy opener, "Equity," sets the tone of Tahoe and allows the following tracks to freedom to grow and shape their own identities, but still giving them a solid basis from which to return. Slow and angelic, "Equity" is as ethereal as a piece can get while still having enough substance to make it worthwhile and meaningful. This vibe continues on into the following song, "Crossing Guard," as well, and really showcases how open Tahoe, and Dedekind Cut's work in general, can be. Taking a bit of a cinematic vibe, the eponymous track remains light, but has a bit more of an earthy feel to it. Naturescapes come to mind and gently roll past while "Tahoe" lightly drones by. Emerging from this natural scene, "MMXIX" and the bits of throat singing remind the listener that they're on an inhabited planet and to appreciate the glory that surrounds him/her. Going a bit further with contemplative, cinematic tones, "De-Civilization" adds an almost wistful air to Tahoe. "Spiral" opens it all back up, and the sonic scenery is free to move once more. Misty and aquatic, this short number adds a nice, playful air to Tahoe. The longest and most actively changing track, "Hollow Earth" swaps between the chthonic and ethereal, and manages to keep the connectivity between the different styles. Mirroring the structure of the first two tracks, "Hollow Earth" and "Virtues" take the album out on a high, airy note.
Dedekind Cut's second full length, Tahoe, is a well thought out ambient record. Diverging from previous approaches, the softer, contemplative sounds on display grow and mesh together as well as those put for by any seasoned, ambient veteran. With this amount of talent on display, it will be very interesting to see what Dedekind Cut comes up with for future releases.Paul Casey