[2011 in Review: Claymation, ‘The Dolphin Key’]

Claymation, 'The Dolphin Key' (Magnetic Eye Records)

 

With The Dolphin Key, Claymation asserts a substantial amount of potential within the ambient/post-rock field. While each of the six tracks on The Dolphin Key is certainly distinguishable from one another, they each follow a similar format of patiently building from a stern awareness to an encompassing restlessness, many climaxing in that wonderful white noise that is so hard to employ correctly.

It is not easy to stick to a format and not be formulaic, but the Albany-based guitarist pulls this off for really no other reason than each track counts on endurance as the key to surprise. Take for instance “Clawrinse,” perhaps the albums strongest track. Slow motion, yes, dolphin sounds begin a slow foray into enveloping ambient rustling that throughout the fourteen and a half minutes never transition so much as gather force, until, once you take a step back, your headphones have been overtaken by a sonic wash out. Indeed, this album has the ability to move you from a pleasant focus to discord without you even knowing it.

Pulling the proverbial rug from ones feet is difficult to do, and Claymation does it several times in The Dolphin Key to great effect.

Looking to the future, there are many ways for Claymation to grow from here. One could always sample more marine animals (the octopus key?), but I have feeling that Claymation will surprise again. Whatever direction is taken, I for one am quite excited to see what comes next.

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Review by Fjordan Turlingua 


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