Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross - Blow
Record Label: Mad Decent / Downtown
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross is, contrary to what the name might suggest, not a female duo but the work of solo producer Dexter Tortoriello, who has also recorded under the moniker Houses. Blow is the project's debut EP.
How Is It?
It's quite beautiful. While I'm continuously trying to challenge my own tastes, I'm typically not drawn in too often by stuff labeled as "dubstep" or "ambient electronic," but Blow is different. It seems to tread ground that is at once unique, and yet well-worn. Yes, there are clicks, reverberating electronic beats and haunting, disembodied vocals, such things you'd associate with dubstep pioneer Burial, but Blow is much lighter and less foreboding than Untrue. Its hypnotic quality and use of sampling is akin to artists like James Blake and Nicolas Jaar, but Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross isn't about minimalist restraint (the title of Jaar's album Space Is Only Noise highlights the difference in philosophy). And yet, while Blow is pretty much filled to the brim with sound, it forgoes the all-out pop approach of an act like Magnetic Man.
There's a sharp melodic focus to the EP that separates it from most of the works you could easily compare it to, which are as much textural exercises as pop statements. Tortoriello's echoed vocals are a part of the ambience, to be sure, but they are also essential to the album's subtle hookiness. When easily intelligible, his lyrics tend toward nostalgic reminiscences, particularly on the moving "White Sun". It's perfect subject matter for the songs, which are mostly breezy but have a slight underlying twinge of melancholy.
The whole package makes for perfect Sunday-afternoon zone-out music, engrossing and emotional without being stifling. Tortoriello's brand of bedroom-produced pop is also recommendable for those who aren't typically fans of the genre, as Blow's undeniable charms are nothing short of magnetic and sublime.