In these tense times, a lot of time is spent listening to music that offers the psychic equivalent of palliative care (the ambient material that is the main content of this website), or to music that provides pounding catharsis (Fugazi, Metallica, and Karen O’s cover of Led Zeppelin are always at the ready).
And then there is Mike Dayton’s new album, Exploring the Void, as exemplified by the wandering, swirling morass of synthesizer motion that is the track “Everything Dies Even the Stars.” It is sound in a constant stage of agitation. It is a portrait of the void from which the album takes its title. Elsewhere on the record, the volume, the intensity, the vivid confusion, takes a less direct approach, as with the ebb and flow of “Refracted Diamonds in the Night Sky,” or the echoing percussive shimmers of “The Barren Ice Planet.” None of this music sounds like it aims to comfort, except to the extent that it does: by providing camaraderie, evidence that someone else is processing the unshareable combination of stress, chaos, and solitude of our historical moment into something that is shareable.
Album originally posted at mikedayton.bandcamp.com on Halloween 2020. More from Dayton, who is based in Minneapolis, Minnessotta, at twitter.com/dayton_mike and soundcloud.com/mikejdayton.