Published Oct 23, 2018In case you're unclear on what exactly influenced the latest LP from Sebastian Gainsborough (aka Vessel), the first 20 seconds of Queen of Golden Dogs makes it abundantly clear. Opening with a dramatic chamber suite, track "Fantasma (For Jasmine)" moves into verbose techno that soon forgets everything that begat it.
In fact, Vessel's third LP has so many inspirations — writers, artists, people in his life — that it's a feat the album ended up so uniform and focused. Tracks like the haunted "Good Animal (For Hanna)" and the primp "Arcanum (For Christalla)" are straight-up 19th century, while a track like the icy "Glory Glory (For Tippi)" resembles classic British IDM, and closer "Sand Tar Man Star (For Aurellia)" comes off as a straightforward drone meditation.
But Queen of Golden Dogs is more than a collection of novel (or classical) ideas, as much as it's a assembly of gorgeously written and expertly arranged musical concepts, showing Vessel making some of the most clear-eyed art of his career. (Tri-angle Records)