Dean Roberts - Be Mine Tonight
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Dean Roberts
Be Mine Tonight

Although he has released work on the Mille Plateaux label on the Modulations And Transformations series, and although he also put out a disc with the collective Dean Roberts And The Black Moths Play The Grand Cinema on Ritornell (a sub-label of the aforementioned), Be Mine Tonight is not what you would expect from such contributions. It's a slow-burning, half-improvised, subtlely-tweaked genre mash that includes elements of jazz, post rock, and even dusky folk. 3 tracks stretch out over just about 35 minutes and push you away slightly while pulling you back at just the right moments.

A perfect example of this is on the opening track of "All Pidgins Sent To War, Palace Of Adrenaline V And E.E." (an apt title given the nearly 20-minute running time of the track). The opening half of the song gives way to sounds of Roberts' geographical original (Auckland), as it rumbles along with the quiet intensity of a Dirty Three or Hungry Ghost track as his subdued vocals add a frail side. About halfway through, the track breaks down into single ringing guitar notes before slowly coalescing with minimal percussion and piano into a lovely and grand finale (recalling a haunting version of The Necks).

"Disappearance On The Grandest Of Streets" follows a slightly more traditional structure, playing out over the course of 5 minutes and marrying more wounded vocals with some gorgeous guitar melodies and a warm dose of noise. The disc closes with "Smash The Palace And What Nerves You Got," another long track that again stretches out and takes time in building to a controlled payoff, with barely-there manipulation tugging at the corners. At times brilliant, and at other times merely good, it's a release that feels a bit too short when the disc stops spinning, which is a compliment by itself.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-12-18 00:00:00