Review: Daktyloi – Succade (self-released, Aug 28)

Daktyloi ostensibly began in 2020 with its first release The & in December, but so far 2021 has been the mysterious Tallahassee project’s open season; nine albums (including this one, Succade) of approximately the same 16–17 minute runtime have been published digitally since January, each comprising two suites of “Weaponized nostalgia, ecstatic headphone daymares, hauntological sound design, [and] anxiety engines,” the suites themselves made up of shorter tracks/fragments apparently cobbled together out-of-order. Each “side” is labeled A and B, but no actual tapes seem to be available… production delays, possibly? Or perhaps Daktyloi’s music entices with but does not deliver on its implicit promise of physical presentation in mischievous contrast to the laundry list of tangible tools and objects used behind the scenes: everything from bulky analog equipment and modular synthesizers to air pumps, sleigh bells, televisions, and voice. Haunting audio is also added via 16mm projector and VHS tape manipulation, casting the other elements in a cinematic, sometimes even narrative light, easing the squeaky wheels of transitions between disparate tracks with a filmic grease. Daktyloi’s stuffy, hallucinatory worlds of melded memory are somewhat reminiscent of Martin Tétreault’s work on La nuit où j’ai dit non, but all the empty space and structural impermanence of the former makes each concise collection a different kind of beguiling.