Album Review: Dntel / ‘Aimlessness’ (Pampa)

★★★★☆

Aimlessness is a cunning tag that Jimmy Tamborello applies to his latest album. If that’s a set-up for the LA producer to lack purpose and direction, therein lies the sceptics’ spoiler alert, and the title also gives big clues as to letting his mind wander and playing out daydreams. As it happens his electronica does have a point and his visions are realistic. While tracks are rarely found pulling in the same direction, they always keep ears safe from harm in an environment mainly perched on child-like building blocks. Hope and joy on the bubbly chase “Jitters” shows no fears (though the Geotic mix shows a rare downside), and the confidence to step into the light is boosted by chillwave clubber “Still,” surf-rock hallucination “Retracer” and helter skelter swirl “Trudge.” How the titles mismatch to the sounds further adds to the headswim.

You can imagine Dntel’s laboratory-as-studio operated with a fine toothcomb making the intricate sound easy and the easy-sounding appealingly sensitive (“My Orphaned Son”). The changes aren’t drastic and like a dream you don’t remember upon awaking, it lacks a little long-lasting memory, but you know you’re happy with the outcome. In turn this means the album is not something you can lose yourself in, but has greater value as a quick pick-me-up or power down.

File under: The Postal Service, Figurine, Baths

Download: Dntel / “Bright Night”

Dntel is the alias of Jimmy Tamborello, who many will know for his work as one half of The Postal Service. Dntel’s Aimlessness is out today on Pampa Records, and the new album finds him collaborating with Baths, Nite Jewel and Geotic (side project of Baths’ Will Wisenfeld). “Bright Night” is a woozy slab o’ glitchy instrumental brilliance that’s one of the standout tracks on the new album. Download and enjoy.