May 29, 2020


Dive Index – Waving At Airplanes (Neutral Music)

In the past, I have been accused of comparing too many artists to Radiohead, to the point where that comparison loses some meaning. As such, I hesitate to use that as a jumping off point, even when the record is screaming for it. 

Dive Index is an L.A. based collaborative electronic project led by producer and composer, Will Thomas. Waving At Airplanes is the fifth full-length album under this name, and collaborators for this effort are vocalists Natalie Walker and Merz. In a convenient arrangement of songs, the tracks alternate back and forth between the two of them. 

Stylistically, this is shoegaze electronica at the top of the class. Most of the music is static pulses, electric blips and ethereal, atmospheric chord progressions. Every sound on the album is made using a modular synthesizer, with the exception of the construction sounds that happened to breach the studio soundproofing. 

Natalie’s vocals are beautiful and intoxicating, singing about deeply emotional moments of self-discovery, ignorance in relationships, and being absorbed by the things around us. “She’s Exploding”, “Wish I Had A Pulse” and the eponymous track stand out as jewels in this particular display case. Merz’s tracks, on the other hand, are a pretentious word salad that only occasionally stumble across a message. The most egregious example is “Pristine Wilderness”, which makes as much sense as a stroke victim with Tourette’s.     His tracks SOUND good, though, and ultimately, that’s what is most important. 

This record is definitely not for everyone, but it certainly struck a chord with me. 

FFO: Amnesiac-era Radiohead (Sorry. Had to.), Roger Eno, Ian Masters

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