Dalot: Flight Sessions EP
Coo Records

Flight Sessions offers a nice introduction to the work of Greek sound artist Maria Papadomanolaki who records under the name Dalot (and who signed recently to n5MD). There is a concept of sorts in play—the EP's six pieces are loosely oriented around the idea of a bird's-eye view of everyday moments—but the concept's largely supplemental to the listening experience. Papadomanolaki, who earned an MA in Sound Art while living in the UK and currently collaborates with free103point9 in New York as a publication co-editor, brings a sensitized ear for detail to material that would invite the label electroacoustic but for the pop character that emerges in a couple of places. As a result, while “Rewind” registers as a setting perched midway between sound art piece and ambient meditation, the recording's most melodic track, a sunlit slice of electronic pop called “Eyeburn,” sweetens its drum machine beats and warm synthetics with glistening melodies. Similarly, a simple rhythm pattern lends “Above the Rooftops” an animated character that complements its title, in contrast to the EP's placid ambient settings, which are speckled with electric guitar shadings, electronic shimmer, and field recordings of the urban jungle (bird chirps, distant thunder, city noise). In short, Flight Sessions finds Papadomanolaki squeezing a stylistically diverse travelogue into a twenty-three-minute running time that bodes well for future outings.

January 2010