The Dead Texan
The Dead Texan


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bite-sized chunks of ambient deliciousness.

I must admit that on reviewing The Dead Texan, I have not experienced the visual half of this audio-visual project. To my mind, just as a book is said to be better than a film because it inspires your own imagination, music is the step beyond books. Not music with words but, as my old English teacher once described it, "proper music". I highly doubt that he was referring to ambient, in fact he probably approaches everything beyond the 19th century with extreme caution and a stern upper lip, but it's true that as a genre ambient music has always excelled in creating a powerful atmosphere, acting as a ground on which our imagination forms. So maybe I'm being naive here, but I'm perfectly content to confine myself to the audio alone. In my mind any visuals would ruin it.

Ruin what? Well, I know the term "ambient pop" has already been taken for a style entirely different, but it remains a fitting description. The Dead Texan contains music deemed "too aggressive" for Stars of the Lid. Adam Wiltzie has created 11 short (by Stars of the Lid terms) ambient pieces, venturing out into a new world of vocal sampling and keeping things (again, by comparison) in double time. This is not to say that you should expect anything truly drastic: The Dead Texan greets us with the familiar mixture of gentle piano chords and smooth drone. It's just that, in many ways, this could be described as ambient-to-go. It's complete with all you expect and, while the cut in running time takes with it much of the opportunity to fully immerse yourself, trumps its flaws by being immediately accessible.

Now this is not to say that The Dead Texan noticeably lacks depth, in fact as far as bite-sized ambient offerings go it has rather a lot. The gloomy, doting echo of "the sun cannot last" towards the end of The Struggle, for instance, sees this pairing of drone and soft vocals reaching a level of pure, downtrodden beauty. Likewise, Aegina Airlines's electronic unfurling behind the bloated piano manages to be utterly mesmerising, yet in under 3 minutes. How you could hope to match that with film is beyond me.

The Dead Texan is by no means perfect, and it's immediately clear that a few of the tracks don't quite live up to the most memorable segments. However, what we have here is a great album, full of Wiltzie's flair and talent as a composer, which throws all pretense to the wind in order to supply some fantastically captivating ambient music, without the hassle of having to break into it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sitting on a chair with a sprained ankle, feeling sorry for myself. Thought I'd pour the kettle then bash out a review.

Found this one remarkably easy to write, too. Hopefully it isn't too terrible.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

editted for spelling errors and things. If there's anything I've missed (even really nit-pick stuff) please highlight it, thanks (:

Restrikted
January 22nd 2012


1889 Comments


I still need to hear this, and nice review

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

better download it now, before the feds shut down the whole internet.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2012


23845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is so god damn good, also my go-to sleepytime jam

zakalwe
February 9th 2014


8256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bumping this stunner.
The constant go to in order to send me off to the land of nod.

wacknizzle
February 9th 2014


13394 Comments


Only heard this once a while back, need to re-check it

Digging: Torch Runner - Endless Nothing

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Christina Vantzou (the other half to this duo) has just released her sophomore LP, which was mastered by Wiltzie so treat it as The Dead Texan that could have been were the roles reversed. Anyone lurking on this list should go check it out now because it is absolutely fucking stunning.

zakalwe
February 22nd 2014


8256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice one stranger, will check it out.

Wadlez
March 8th 2014


4160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Speak softly

Digging: Akira Yamaoka - Silent Hill 2

Wadlez
March 23rd 2014


4160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Most listened to album by far recently.



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