if you were a dream
|make them real||*.mp3|
|everything i do is drown||*.mp3|
|entering the abyss||*.mp3|
design: rogier hendriks. www.onesize.com
photography: tjeerd derkink. www.tjeerdderkink.com
make-up: hilda nanlohij. www.visagiste-styliste.nl
model: suzanne egging. www.suzanneegging.com
mastering: david knauer / audio perception. www.audioperception.com
everyone is able to appreciate the feeling of being in water or even a cold grip of panic from a lungful of liquid, but it is also possible to drown in a never-ending 'ocean' of duties and responsibilities. working hard in vfx business and as a sound designer caused a feeling of mental near-drowning for jeff dodson which was his main reason for a creative release by doing a new defrag release. the theme behind the album 'drown' is following the emotional ride that drowning provides, symbolized by exciting, fast-paced structures, and patterning the release after it, resolving with a calm, peaceful transition.
many of defrag's influences and taste in music like idm, dubstep and
experimental abstract glitch filter into this release, in addition he let
his classical background come in to give it a more cinematic progression.
orchestrated strings, piano, classic analogue synths and software processing add up to a headstrong fusion of analogue warmth, modern classical seriousness and raw digital abstraction. instead of exceeding complexity jeff dodson chose this album's structure to be deliberate, intelligent and tight - a complete and awesome journey from start to finish, and a sign of artistic progress.
das amerikanische idm-projekt defrag aus new york lässt sich mit seinen veröffentlichungen immer recht viel zeit und so ist die letzte cd „lament element“ nun schon wieder 5 jahre her. das diese lange zeitspanne aber sicher gerechtfertigt ist, beweist schon allein das aufwendige coverartwork von „drown“ und natürlich merkt man das ebenfalls am ausgefeilten sound des albums. die flotte mischung aus jungle, break beat und dubstep bolzt nämlich nicht nur einfach vor sich hin, sondern wird durch soundtrackhafte atmosphären getragen und sogar mit melodiösen ambient- und electro-elementen durchzogen. am ende steht ein kurzweiliges wie in sich geschlossenes album, welches einen deutlich längeren haltbarkeitswert aufweist, als viele andere werke dieses genres. sehr schön auch, das „drown“ neben der cd-ausgabe auch im vinyl-format mit dem typischen briefmarken-cover bei hymen records erscheint, dem zusätzlich ein mp3-code beiliegt. (marco fiebag)
with three proper albums behind them, defrag—initially composed of jeff dodson and matt flego—continue to cull the finest electro-industrial experiments from their music boxes. the moniker now looks to be the prime workings of jeff dodson, currently residing in los angeles. drown, the latest outing with hymen, features bassline smorgasbords and erratic rhythm-blocks forming a magnetized field that is as dense as petrified wood. bridging the void between broken beats and tumultuous electronics, defrag’s theme follows the emotional ride that drowning provides (as the press-release states.) buried in high-pressure dub crumbles, gritty mechanical manifests and unwieldy sonic streams, defrag is in top form as brooding—almost subotnick like—synths float by mysteriously. floods of hard-hitting electrical activity are accompanied by low-end audio acrobatics crafting an absorbing release that treks into the mariana trench only to reemerge unscathed.
in 2009, jeff dodson released under his defrag moniker lament element, an album of chaotic drum & bass that evoked an atmosphere of turmoil and tension in tribute to the old ones in the works of h.p. lovecraft. after five years honing his skills and engaging other pursuits, defrag returns as dodson plunges further into the depth of his psyche with the aptly titled drown. taking a step back from drum & bass and exploring the more schizoid regions of idm and other dark experimental electronics, drown’s scope feels less cosmic than its predecessor and more internal; as if to plays as soundtrack to the mind’s thoughts as one sinks further into the watery depths. wrought with anxiety and anticipation in equal measure, “if you were a dream” begins the album with skittering electronic percussion underscoring waves of strings and reverberating howls of electronic noise, as if the bellows of some strange creature languishing in the distance. it’s an appropriate mood piece that sets the album’s tone straight away, with the scathing warbles of scathing synths and hollow ambience in “nine” and the mournful swells of strings and punishing percussion assaults on “make them real” gradually giving way to dissonant bell-like melodies in “stare” and whistling feedback against a rather catchy ebm-inspired bass loop on “grin,” with some light pianos thrown in for good measure. hints of dubstep make themselves apparent in “entering the abyss” before evolving into the three-part “abyss,” echoes of various sounds of glitchy synth, percussion, and noise creating an ambient tapestry that more than adequately captures a sense of isolation, bleakness, and eventuality that comes as one sinks further below. closing out with the decrepit and mournful title track, sprinkles of harrowing pianos making for an especially evocative ending, drown displays a greater maturity of sound design and arrangement for jeff dodson. topped off by some fine production and instances of more musical and classical elements, drown is perhaps broader in its scope than lament element was. without the need to seek out fictional celestial deities and focusing purely on the human element of solitary existence and the knowledge of its suffocating conclusion, defrag may not be breaking the boundaries of idm, but is certainly showcasing a more thoughtful and introspective side to what is a rather esoteric genre. (ilker yücel)
this new album by defrag arrives after a hiatus of 5 years. mastermind jeff dodson is a very active artist dealing with different artistic features, and his new defrag-album was a worth to wait. after the d’n’b inspired album “lament element” the new work reveals a more sophisticated and complex compositions featuring multiple influences. the opening cut is a rather surprising minimal-electro and even ebm inspired cut mixed with elements of idm. “if you were a dream” is a rather fascinating starter, but not fully representative for the rest of the work. “nine” (which is the 2nd cut) moves into pure idm realms carried by a cool rhythm and raw sound sculptures. things get more complex with “make them real”, which also walks on glitch paths mixed with neo-classic elements. this track is a quite visionary piece for the rest of the work. “drown” indeed mixes multiple neo-classical elements with electro-minimalism. it’s not always that accessible, but it becomes a lust for the ears of electro-experimental lovers. defrag clearly reveals to have the writing skills of a great sound architect. i often feel like i am exploring an imaginary sound labyrinth emphasized by meticulous sound arrangements. the 3 different “abyss”-parts rapidly appear to be the apotheosis of this work. the different tracks move from glitch treatments to very detailed electro-experimentalism to finally reach cold, ambient cellar atmospheres composed by detailed sound sculptures. conclusion: “drown” stands for complexity and the symbiosis of different electronic music styles, but also is an artistic creation from an avant-garde artist.
defrag. drown. cd / lp. hymen records ¥824 / ¥059. 2014
defrag. lament element. cd. hymen records ¥779. 2009
defrag vs. pigface. 8bithead. cd. underground inc. uin 1090. 2004
defragmentation. self construct. cd. underground inc. ui 1020. 2002
defrag official website: