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Dworzec - Wednesday

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Artist: Dworzec

Album: Wednesday

Label: Metonymic

Review date: Jun. 17, 2003

Production Problems

It’s never a good thing when a record’s terrible production is its most distinctive quality. Unfortunately, I can say very little with certainty about Wednesday by the Melbourne-based quartet Dworzec, other than that its sound is awful. Beyond that, there are only questions.

For example: was this conceived as a noise album, a drone album, an improv record, or some combination of the three? Wednesday is splattered with sustained, rumbling distortion, but is it made from electronics? A busted keyboard? A musician playing “Old MacDonald” on the low strings of a guitar? The world may never know. The distortion on the first track might be some attempt at a drone, or it might just be a byproduct of the terrible sound. Throughout the album, there are flurries of activity that emerge from underneath the noise, but were they made from electronics? A busted keyboard? A musician playing “Old MacDonald"... well, you get the idea. Dworzec play both acoustic and electronic instruments, including saxophone, percussion, prepared guitar and synthesizer, but good luck trying to pick out which is which. The type of record Dworzec intended to make doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what kind of record it is, of course; that is, Dworzec could have completely failed in making whatever record it was trying to make, but created something charming in the process. But on Wednesday, the effort spent trying to listen past the production kills any pleasure that might be derived from listening to the album. Trying to figure out Dworzec’s sound from listening to Wednesday is like trying to drive at night with broken headlights.

Which brings us to another question: would Dworzec be interesting to see live? Well, maybe. Dworzec's sound has been described as “industrial” and “alien.” I suspect Dworzec’s improvised bursts of activity are too irregular and unsure to really sound “alien,” but I’m willing to give the band the benefit of the doubt. The real problem is that Wednesday lacks the crisp production that industrial albums require to sound industrial. Still, the pretty accordion-based drone by Louise Conroy that ends the album suggests that Dworzec may have a few tricks up its sleeve, even if the production isn’t intimate enough for that drone to be particularly affecting.

As far as Wednesday is concerned, however, it doesn’t really matter whether or not Dworzec are any good at what they do. What ultimately matters is that the sound is a mess, so Wednesday doesn’t deliver feelings of bliss or paranoia or whatever feelings it’s trying to deliver. Do you need to hear this? Finally, a question I can answer with certainty: no.

By Charlie Wilmoth

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