Dusted EP

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by Raleigh Moncrief

In the wake of his acclaimed debut LP Watered Lawn, Sacramento producer Raleigh Moncrief continues his unpredictable journey through new aural territory.  As both a solo artist and behind-the-scenes support – most notably with the Dirty Projectors and fellow Sacramentan Zach Hill – Moncrief has displayed rare comfort in a variety of genres, possessing an uncanny ability to pair the familiar with the unfamiliar.

Opener "Reflect That" drifts in like a half-remembered dream; a bed of woozy synth and homing-beacon blips serves to cradle Moncrief's mournful falsetto.  "On Feedback" is the first true taste of the EP's strength in duality, pairing warehouse-sized bass hits and snapping snares, yet the tone never moves far from thick melancholy.  "Everybody's at the Mall" is chant in expansive haze, exemplifying the sense of isolation that defines Dusted as a whole.  In Dusted's most impressive feat, "First Person" re-imagines the all-holy air horn as a centralized instrument – large, distorted, and bent to massive proportion.  As the beat skitters and thuds below, Moncrief's voice floats along a more ephemeral plane, seemingly unaware of the mayhem below.

"Dusted" serves as the EP's penultimate climax.  Many of contemporary electronic music's familiar elements are present– skittering snare fills, build-and-drop beats, and again there's that air horn – but Moncrief's method of employing them is wholly unique.  The elements pile atop one another until the song reaches it's anthemic fever pitch, then immediately drops out and reverses trajectory.  A rapid downward drift finds the finale soaked in an ether of distant, bare melody. It's the sound of synthesis immediately followed by dissipation; indicative of an artist as restless as he is creative.

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