Dane Law – Blue Forty-Six

2.17.23 by Ryan Masteller

I’m kind of a goofball. I know, I know, that probably comes as a surprise to most of you reading this. But seriously, I like to have fun sometimes, I like to take trips, vacations, all that good stuff. But if you think I’m the kind to pack swimsuits and boogie boards and beach chairs and volleyballs into the old family vehicle and head on down the shore for week of fun in the sun, you’re sadly, possibly fatally if you’re not careful, mistaken. You see, I’m the kind of fellow who prefers the colder climes, especially in the offseason – the remoter the region, the better. I’m all about bundling up and experiencing the sheer environment, the terrain, the place. I want to FEEL where I am, and by that I don’t mean the sun beating down on some crowded Jersey oceanside tourist trap in July. I want to breathe it in, become one with it. Gimme Alaska, or, heck, gimme ANTARCTICA for cryin’ out loud LOL – that’s where I want to go.

I think Dane Law has a hankering for Earth’s southernmost continent as well, and his sparse arrangements – sampled and processed acoustic guitar – complement the loneliness of outpost life in the few livable spots to be found there. There’s McMurdo Station overlooking McMurdo Sound, an inlet that’s apparently the southernmost navigable waterway in the world. Just don’t try to traverse it in the wintertime! (Seriously, it freezes, and winter in Antarctica is in June, July, and August, so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s warm down there.) There’s Mount Hope, part of Eternity Range on the Antarctic Peninsula. There are ice shelves and frozen wastes. Shackleton and Mackintosh and the other explorer folk would recognize the references in all these song titles! They’d probably feel a sense of deep emotion and nostalgia too (or maybe trauma – those early expeditions were tough ones).

The minimal accompaniment is beautiful in its composition, but you’ll never believe how Dane Law got there! He recorded individual notes from an acoustic guitar and then sampled them on a computer, and from these he composed gentle, spindly sculptures that freeze rigid in the unending wind blowing off the Antarctic ocean. These intricate, crystalline sound structures are as delicate as they are resonant, and they sparkle in the cold sun as if they’re infinitely fresh and sonorant. Breathing while listening fills my lungs with ice, and the cloud formations of my breath plume into my heated suburban home as if physics were a mere suggestion. I am out there, goggles down, hood up, ready for anything. Vacation, owned!

Well yeah, this is a pro-dubbed C40 in maltese cross-style packaging with all-over onbody printing. What the hell else would it be? Out now on Blue Tapes!