Friday, May 12, 2006


Monument to a Ruined Age
Don’t be scared off by Goddakk’s gothy sounding name or the dark embryonic-like imagery of the packaging. You have nothing to fear. The music of Goddakk is entrancing and mesmerizing. All the sounds on the disc are created by Martin Newman mainly using looped sounds produced on a bass, along with some guitar, keys and vocals.

The music on the disc is eerily familiar. It took me a long time to place where I had heard music like this before. Newman’s self proclaimed love of the Cure threw me off the right track. His true allegiance is not with the Cure but with someone from much further south, New Zealand to be exact.

His true fellow sonic explorer would be Roy Montgomery. Both artists share a penchant for slowly building droney soundscapes. Newman & Montgomery use mostly a single instrument (Martin uses a bass) to build up dense subtly changing sound environments. On some tracks, like “Unfortunates,” Newman uses a keyboard that would not sound out of place on a Dadahmah or Dissolve record. On other tracks like “Human Beings” it feels like atmospherics of early Flying Saucer Attack.

Martin employs dense heavily altered vocals on some tracks, like the first track “Opened.” It is impossible to hear what is being said, but I don’t think that is really the point. The altered vocals give the song a claustrophobic, uneasy feel. At first the vocals bothered me, but after repeated listens they grew on me.

“Crucify You” is slightly different then the rest of the tracks. It is less dependent on bass loops to build up dense sonic soups. It is much more song orientated with what sounds like a simple bass & string like sounding arrangement. This track shows the broadness of Newman’s sonic pallette. “Yto Nobogo,” the final track, builds up from simple loops to become denser and denser, before it reaches its ultimate climax.

Overall I am quite impressed with Goddakk. Theses soundscapes are deceptively simple. Martin Newman achieves with this project a great deal of variety using simple means. (Silber) (Dan Cohoon)