Gagarin is the name under which Graham ‘Dids’ Dowdall goes, the Pere Ubu member bringing together his love of psychogeography and music to make an album that works as ambience and stimulation together. He uses field recordings and birdsong effectively as backing for the arpeggios of ‘Gibbet’, setting out an approach where planes flying lazily overhead can blend easily with Dowdall’s own electronic thoughts. Occasionally the music gets more active, and in ‘Oromorphian’ a serrated bass sound works well with the glitchy synths up top. ‘Hascombe’ reaches a place of comforting, pastoral tranquillity, but contrasting with this is the dark and brooding ‘Amenuensis’, giving the essential light and shade that make this album works so well.
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5