Dean Roberts Be Mine Tonight

Experimental guitarist and New Zealand native Dean Roberts spent nearly two years meticulously piecing together the four tracks that make up his newest disc, Be Mine Tonight. With help from Italian engineer and composer Valerio Tricolli, Roberts has ventured away from the primarily electronic-centred works of the late ‘90s while still holding his unique grasp of atmosphere and utilisation of the open space that breathes an anomalous life into his compositions. The hauntingly sparse arrangements magnify the intimate details of each progression, the airiness mesmerising in its ability to take a simple crack of the snare drum or a subtle harmonium note and give it as much bearing as the dissonant guitar lines or Roberts’s quivering vocals (which, oddly enough, at times resemble Conor Oberst’s). Drummer Antonio Arrabbito (making his recording debut) is also stellar, giving a hypnotic and loose underbelly to the album’s most accomplished tracks, "Disappearance on the Grandest of Streets” and "Letter to Monday” — careful to let his instrument deftly work with, but never take over, the precise ambience Roberts has skilfully crafted. Though occasionally meandering to the point of being impenetrable, most of Be Mine Tonight is undeniably constructed by talented musicians who are at the top of their game and eager to push their own boundaries. (Kranky)