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- Ask The Dust

There’s plenty of space on Ask The Dust, which goes toward creating a kind of wild, spaghetti western vibe that’s tangible, yet still hard to define.

Christopher H James

May 15th 2012 | Label: Ninja Tune
While Lorn's first LP Nothing Else was a convincing sliver of urban menace, it didn't quite push the boundaries as other leaders of the new school of Californian weird (such as Gonjasufi or Gaslamp Killer) have. Ask the Dust – presumably named after John Fante's partially autobiographical deadbeat novel – corrects that in spades: strange, ugly spades. You might find this filed under dubstep, but its grumbling, almost brass-like bass and unearthly drones are a twilight zone away from your populist digital wobblers a la Skrillex or Nero.

With an appreciation of quieter moments and many ghostly echoes, there's plenty of space on Ask The Dust, which goes toward creating a kind of wild, spaghetti western vibe that's tangible, yet still hard to define. Titles are misspelt (Ghosst, Chhurch), This, with its gruesomely groaning cello and mumbled vocals that slip in and out, seems to begin halfway through Weigh Me Down and carries on into the beginning of the next track, while Diamond has two inexplicable minutes of silence in its centre. Prevailing throughout is an oppressive, disturbing atmosphere which could make for a radically thinking horror soundtrack. But in amongst all the curious experimentation, cuts such as Chhurch demonstrate that Lorn can still hone comparatively conventional productions that are as tough and hooky as the immediate competition.

It's not entirely cohesive – it may not even be 100% coherent – but it's a giant stylistic leap and a real indication of what Lorn is capable of.


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