Review: Dun Sug – Chump (self-released, Nov 17)

Yet another killer enigmatic project emerges from Leeds in the form of Dun Sug, who after a pair of single track releases has dropped their debut album both digitally and as a “decent cassette” edition of ten. A never completely reliable but mostly consistent rule of thumb is that the smaller the physical run, the weirder or more interesting the music, and thankfully Chump is not an exception. Each of its six sketch-like tracks feels like a profoundly personal exercise, sort of the musical equivalent of “looking out to look in” (and thus it deserves the oft-misused “devotional” tag on Bandcamp much more than most): opener “Rut” is a dense, swathing realization of some echoey indoor area, both spacious and claustrophobic with its counterpointing of expansive reverberations and up-close metallic scrabble; “Snicket” is a fibrous, insectile concrète exercise reminiscent of my favorite material from every anti-music hermit’s eternal inspiration, Yeast Culture; and “Crank” is a reticent excursion into gestural object improvisation. Though the tape never abandons its earthy, homemade appeal, even more ambition manifests in the captivating final three tracks, particularly “CDz,” which traces a thinly sliced skeleton-scape of hiss, shuffle, and paranoiac sublimity. For fans of Dan Gilmore, Small Cruel Party, Angelo Bignamini, and nighttime games of hide and seek.