Review: Brent Gutzeit – The Dust Trade (JMY, Sep 5)

Much of the beauty of The Dust Trade comes from its evocation of ennui, whether it’s the stitched-together old film samples on “Another War,” tactile domestic recordings on “Japanese Love Affair,” or the soothing sounds of (probably) water flowing over gravel on “Liquid Glass Half Empty.” I’m not at all familiar with Brent Gutzeit’s work, but as can be seen from his Bandcamp page there’s a hell of a lot of it, and if the same level of patience and attention to detail as in The Dust Trade is present in any of his other releases I’m sure to enjoy them. I was immediately drawn to this album because of its languid, relaxing pace. Though Gutzeit’s sources are intimate and familiar, the worlds he creates with them are anything but, and what is conjured by the extended pieces is most often something quite alien, but ultimately the motion is comfortingly meditative, as steady as that current washing over the rocks. The music’s uncanniness isn’t achieved through artifice, and each collage’s slow progression allows the listener to see the fragments of reality still present, to spend time picking out the sounds that resonate most with them, to find a personal anchor amidst the abstractness.

Each CDr copy of The Dust Trade has a unique cover photograph by the artist.